It's always interesting to note who praises things before they come out. The Iraq Study Group was assembled from the ranks of those foreign policy experts who had proved notably bad at foreign policy
, and who, therefore, were not among those originally called on to advise on Iraq.
Whether or not this is a good strategy depends on whether or not they are "fresh eyes" -- and we have reason to believe they are not.
So, for those eagerly anticipating the report: forget about using it to persuade us as if it had weight. We decline to award it any.
UPDATE:Well, it lived down to its billing.
All I can say is, "It's a good thing government panels can still employ James Baker and Lee Hamilton. They would starve otherwise, and we don't need more homeless people wandering the streets." Other comments here.
Final update:A serious response to an unserious report.
The key response? "Yes, what a lovely report. Particularly like the binding." Even the Washington Post knows it's garbage.THE IRAQ Study Group's recommendations for shifting U.S. military tactics in the war are specific, focused and aimed at incremental improvement over the next few months; they are also close to what the Pentagon and Iraqi government already were hoping to achieve. By contrast, the group's diplomatic strategy is sweeping -- and untethered to reality. The Bush administration could and should adopt some version of the military plan, though it would be right to ignore the unrealistic timetable attached to it. But to embrace the group's proposed "New Diplomatic Offensive" would be to suppose a Middle East very different from what's on the ground.FINAL UPDATE Someone put together a real Iraq Study Group in response.