I have little support or enthusiasm for the much overestimated report from the Iraq Study Group.
You don't have to be a foreign relations expert, or former Bush the First appointee to know that the situation on the ground in Iraq has been grim and yes, deteriorating for some time.
Counting on diplomatic pressure from the likes of Iran and Syria -- no, wouldn't recommend that. Those countries actively, aggressively oppose democratic goals. And prior to the US war in Iraq, even I could have advised White House officials that a weak Iraq and a weak Afghanistan would create the basis for a very powerful Iran.
Let's be honest - Iran has been the poster child for anti-U.S. philosophy since hostages were taken during the U.S. Embassy seizure in 1979. And Syria is a haven for Hussein loyalists.
Despite hopeful admiration for the report, little attention is being paid to two key problems with the U.S. strategy -- contracting out the training of Iraqis to private companies has been rife with fraud and failure; and likewise failure has been achieved at insuring a stable infrastructure of basics like electricity, hospitals, and even oil production.
Facing the house-to-house battles, soldiers are constantly in harm's way. The policies in place and those being weighed now seem only to pull in directions with little advantage for the U.S., our allies and the Iraqis.
In short, the U.S. is in one hell of a mess and clear decisive policies to resolving the war are still elusive. At the very best, the report may perhaps open the eyes wide shut at the White House -- but I doubt seriously if anyone can achieve that.