Recommendations 9 through 17 continue to discuss successfully dealing with Iran and Syria as well as resolving all of the existing conflicts in the region. We're going to skip ahead at the same speed the study group sped through these many issues.
R18 -- Shift resources from Iraq to Afghanistan
Where have I heard this before? Hmmm.... oh yeah, out of just about every Democrat's mouth immediately prior to being accused of aiding the terrorists, loving Sadam, hating America and being traitors. Hell, we didn't want the resources or focus shifted away from the hunt for Osama in the first place. But I digress. Good luck selling this one to the Bush adminionstration, boys -- George W. Christ has already made it clear that he doesn't spend any time worrying about Osama -- apparantly he thinks we're better off with Osama still on the loose rather than brought to justice for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
R19 -- Bush should set milestones, keep in touch with the Iraqi gov't monitor and encourage their progress in reaching those milestones and keep the Iraqi and American people fully informed as to that progress.
Again... good luck selling them on this one, boys! We've been waiting three years for clearly defined objectives in OUR effort and frankly, we're lucky this cloak-and-dagger adminionstration has let is in on the fact that we even went to war.
R20 -- If the Iraqi gov't shows that it's trying to make progress toward achieving the objectives set forth for them, we'll continue "training, assistance, and support for
Iraq’s security forces, and to continue political, military, and economic support for the Iraqi government" if they do, we can begin to reduce our military or civilian presence in Iraq.
...or could if we weren't going to continue doing all those things for them.
R21 -- If they don't become more capable, we should reduce our military and civilian presence
...but, as stated above, we can do that only if they DO bcome more capable. So, in a nutshell, we're staying either way.
R22 -- The President should state that we don't want to establish permanent military bases in Iraq, unless the Iraqui government we helped install and who are currently relying on us for just about everything ask us to establish them.
I'm not going to be the only one who reads this one this way. I wonder why they didn't suggest that we enact legislation preventing this or any other administration and this or any future Congress from ever establishing permanent US bases in Iraq, EVEN if we're asked.
R23 -- "The President should restate that the United States does not seek to control Iraq’s oil."
...And then we should make it clear that we won't purchase, trade for or accept by any other means so much as one drop of it... and then we should begin, in earnest, to develop and switch completely over to technologies that will send fossil fuels the way of the dinosaurs they're made from. This will successfully eliminate any concerns that we have any interest, whatsoever, in that finite commodity. (But, we won't.)
R24 -- Some of the dates we set for achieving milestones in Iraq are unrealistic, so rather than go back and edit this report to suggest more realistic dates, we're adding this recommendation to say that those dates are unrealistic and suggest a different deadline by which Iraq should meet those objectives.
Seriously, that's what recommendation 24 is!! Go read the report for yourself.
R25 -- Oh and the milstones we listed earlier were a good start, but we thought of some more and rather than go back and edit that section...
The next set of recommendations addresses steps the study group believes Iraq needs to take to accomplish political reconciliation, so I'll stop here and pick there, next time.