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Congress Responds to Iraq Study Group’s Findings

Following the much-anticipated release of the Iraq Study Group report, Congress is debating alternative strategies for improving the situation in Iraq. Senate Foreign Relations Committee members Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., share their reactions.

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    And for that reaction, we go to two senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut; and Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska.

    Welcome, gentlemen.

    SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D), Connecticut: Thank you.

    SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), Nebraska: Thank you.


    The Iraq Study Group today said that time is running out to make the fixes in Iraq. Based on what you saw in that report — I'll start with you, Senator Dodd — today, what do you think those fixes ought to be? What should be picked out, and what should be left by the roadside?


    Well, first of all, let me add my voice of commendation to Jim Baker, Lee Hamilton, and the other members of the commission. It's been eight long months.

    They listened to about everyone you could possibly listen to in coming up with these recommendations, and they deserve a strong vote of praise from all of us, regardless of what your position may be. It's been a monumental effort on their behalf, and I want to commend them.

    I also have a strong feeling that the thrust of what they're suggesting is right, and it might be worthwhile, before we even adjourn from here, to have the Congress of the United States endorse or pass a resolution commending them for their efforts and at least commending them for the thrust of what they're suggesting.

    To pick up on Jim Baker's suggestion that we send a message to the American people and to others, particularly in Iraq and elsewhere, that this is something that we can generally support — there may be differences on specifics — but overall I think it's the right direction, and we ought to be doing that.