Alexander right to back the Iraq Study Group

Posted on May 29, 2007

We support Sen. Lamar Alexander's plan to introduce legislation making the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group the official policy of the United States. It is a common-sense idea that is long overdue. It should be passed and signed into law. It really says something that Alexander is leading the charge to find a new way in, and perhaps a way out of, the Iraq quagmire. Alexander has been a strong backer of Bush, including his decision to invade Iraq. And like Bush, he rejects any set timetable for the withdrawal of troops. That's why Bush should give special heed to what Alexander has to say. Alexander is no lightweight when it comes to politics. He is a former two-term governor of Tennessee. He is a former national secretary of education. And he's run for president twice. He's been around. Alexander isn't alone in calling for Bush to adopt the ISG report. So far, he's been joined by Sen. Ken Salazar, a Colorado Democrat, and by four senators from both parties. Clearly, people from both parties are beginning to see the need for change. And the ISG report provides a workable blueprint for how to succeed in Iraq. So far, Bush has ignored the group's recommendations. Instead of focusing on diplomacy, he has instead done the opposite by initiating a troop surge. Ignoring the report is a mistake. After all, it isn't just anyone who compiled the report. The group was led by former Secretary of State James Baker III, former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, and was composed of a bevy of policy experts. These people are experts with years of experience and should be listened to. What makes sense about the proposed legislation is that it seeks to give the United States a concrete strategy. It is a plan that is markedly different from the strategy we have employed so far. And it is a strategy that is endorsed by people with the knowledge and experience to have some real insight. It makes sense to adopt the group's recommendations. And it make sense that Alexander is the one leading the way in making that happen.