The findings of a major US study on future policy on Iraq are due out today. Robert Gates, expected to be confirmed as the new US Defence Minister later this week was part of the Iraq Study Group. He told senators considering his new appointment yesterday, he does not believe America is winning the war in Iraq, nor is he optimistic that the ISG will propose any radical solutions:. “It is my impression there are no new ideas on Iraq. The list of tactics, the list of strategies, the list of approaches is pretty much out there,” he said.
Published amid soaring violence in Iraq, the report is widely expected to suggest a phased withdrawal of US troops over the next 18 months. Iraqi security adviser Maufac al-Rubaie says all options will be considered: “Nothing is going to surprise us – because I don’t think there is going to be any thing in the review we have not thought of but we welcome any suggestion we will discuss anything which will help the security and the democracy in Iraq.”
Involving US enemies Syria and Iran in stability talks is another option which George W. Bush has continually rejected. In an unexpected move, Iraq’s Prime Minister has also backed the idea of involving neighbouring countries, but without specifying which ones.