Iraq Study Group Report : The Way Forward - A New Approach
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Author BiographyRead more
James A. Baker, III has served in senior government positions under three United States presidents. He served as the nation’s 61st Secretary of State from January 1989 through August 1992 under President George H. W. Bush. During his tenure at the State Department, Mr. Baker traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the post–Cold War era. Mr. Baker’s reflections on those years of revolution, war, and peace—The Politics of Diplomacy—was published in 1995.
Mr. Baker served as the 67th Secretary of the Treasury from 1985 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. As Treasury Secretary, he was also Chairman of the President's Economic Policy Council. From 1981 to 1985, he served as White House Chief of Staff to President Reagan. Mr. Baker’s record of public service began in 1975 as Under Secretary of Commerce to President Gerald Ford. It concluded with his service as White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993.
Long active in American presidential politics, Mr. Baker led presidential campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush over the course of five consecutive presidential elections from 1976 to 1992.
A native Houstonian, Mr. Baker graduated from Princeton University in 1952. After two years of active duty as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, he entered the University of Texas School of Law at Austin. He received his J.D. with honors in 1957 and practiced law with the Houston firm of Andrews and Kurth from 1957 to 1975.
Mr. Baker’s memoir—Work Hard, Study . . . and Keep Out of Politics! Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life—was published in October 2006.
Mr. Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has been the recipient of many other awards for distinguished public service, including Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award, the American Institute for Public Service’s Jefferson Award, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Award, the Hans J. Morgenthau Award, the George F. Kennan Award, the Department of the Treasury’s Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and numerous honorary academic degrees.
Mr. Baker is presently a senior partner in the law firm of Baker Botts. He is Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and serves on the board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Baker served as the Personal Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seek a political solution to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, Mr. Baker was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for President George W. Bush on the issue of Iraqi debt. In 2005, he was co-chair, with former President Jimmy Carter, of the Commission on Federal Election Reform. Since March 2006, Mr. Baker and former U.S. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton have served as the co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel on Iraq.
Mr. Baker was born in Houston, Texas, in 1930. He and his wife, the former Susan Garrett, currently reside in Houston, and have eight children and seventeen grandchildren.
Lee H. Hamilton — Co-Chair
Lee H. Hamilton became Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in January 1999. Previously, Mr. Hamilton served for thirty-four years as a United States Congressman from Indiana. During his tenure, he served as Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (now the Committee on International Relations) and chaired the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East from the early 1970s until 1993. He was Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran.
Also a leading figure on economic policy and congressional organization, he served as Chair of the Joint Economic Committee as well as the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, and was a member of the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee. In his home state of Indiana, Mr. Hamilton worked hard to improve education, job training, and infrastructure. Currently, Mr. Hamilton serves as Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, which seeks to educate citizens on the importance of Congress and on how Congress operates within our government.
Mr. Hamilton remains an important and active voice on matters of international relations and American national security. He served as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on National Security in the 21st Century (better known as the Hart-Rudman Commission), was Co-Chair with former Senator Howard Baker of the Baker-Hamilton Commission to Investigate Certain Security Issues at Los Alamos, and was Vice-Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission), which issued its report in July 2004. He is currently a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, as well as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Advisory Board.
Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, Mr. Hamilton relocated with his family to Tennessee and then to Evansville, Indiana. Mr. Hamilton is a graduate of DePauw University and the Indiana University School of Law, and studied for a year at Goethe University in Germany. Before his election to Congress, he practiced law in Chicago and in Columbus, Indiana. A former high school and college basketball star, he has been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Mr. Hamilton’s distinguished service in government has been honored through numerous awards in public service and human rights as well as honorary degrees. He is the author of A Creative Tension—The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress (2002) and How Congress Works and Why You Should Care (2004), and the coauthor of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (2006).
Lee and his wife, the former Nancy Ann Nelson, have three children—Tracy Lynn Souza, Deborah Hamilton Kremer, and Douglas Nelson Hamilton—and five grandchildren: Christina, Maria, McLouis and Patricia Souza and Lina Ying Kremer.
Lawrence S. Eagleburger — Member
Lawrence S. Eagleburger was sworn in as the 62nd U.S. Secretary of State by President George H. W. Bush on December 8, 1992, and as Deputy Secretary of State on March 20, 1989.
After his entry into the Foreign Service in 1957, Mr. Eagleburger served in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, in the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and the U.S. Mission to NATO in Belgium. In 1963, after a severe earthquake in Macedonia, he led the U.S. government effort to provide medical and other assistance. He was then assigned to Washington, D.C., where he served on the Secretariat staff and as special assistant to Dean Acheson, advisor to the President on Franco-NATO issues. In August 1966, he became acting director of the Secretariat staff.
In October 1966, Mr. Eagleburger joined the National Security Council staff. In October 1967, he was assigned as special assistant to Under Secretary of State Nicholas Katzenbach. In November 1968, he was appointed Dr. Henry Kissinger’s assistant, and in January 1969, he became executive assistant to Dr. Kissinger at the White House. In September 1969, he was assigned as political advisor and chief of the political section of the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels.
Mr. Eagleburger became Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in August 1971. Two years later, he became Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. The same year he returned to the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Operations. He subsequently followed Dr. Kissinger to the State Department, becoming Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State. In 1975, he was made Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management.
In June 1977, Mr. Eagleburger was appointed Ambassador to Yugoslavia, and in 1981 he was nominated as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. In February 1982, he was appointed Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Mr. Eagleburger has received numerous awards, including an honorary knighthood from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (1994); the Distinguished Service Award (1992), the Wilbur J. Carr Award (1984), and the Distinguished Honor Award (1984) from the Department of State; the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal from the Department of Defense (1978); and the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service (1976).
After retiring from the Department of State in May 1984, Mr. Eagleburger was named president of Kissinger Associates, Inc. Following his resignation as Secretary of State on January 19, 1993, he joined the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman and Caldwell as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor. He joined the boards of Halliburton Company, Phillips Petroleum Company, and Universal Corporation. Mr. Eagleburger currently serves as Chairman of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims.
He received his B.S. degree in 1952 and his M.S. degree in 1957, both from the University of Wisconsin, and served as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954. Mr. Eagleburger is married to the former Marlene Ann Heinemann. He is the father of three sons, Lawrence Scott, Lawrence Andrew, and Lawrence Jason.
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. — Member
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., is a Senior Managing Director of Lazard Freres & Co. llc in New York. He works with a diverse group of clients across a broad range of industries.
Prior to joining Lazard, Mr. Jordan was a Senior Executive Partner with the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, where he remains Senior Counsel. While there Mr. Jordan practiced general, corporate, legislative, and international law in Washington, D.C.
Before Akin Gump, Mr. Jordan held the following positions: President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League, Inc.; Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc.; Director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council; Attorney-Consultant, U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; Assistant to the Executive Director of the Southern Regional Council; Georgia Field Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia.
Mr. Jordan’s presidential appointments include the President’s Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation, the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa, the Advisory Council on Social Security, the Presidential Clemency Board, the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, the National Advisory Committee on Selective Service, and the Council of the White House Conference “To Fulfill These Rights.” In 1992, Mr. Jordan served as the Chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team.
Mr. Jordan’s corporate and other directorships include American Express Company; Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.; Howard University (Trustee); J. C. Penney Company, Inc.; Lazard Ltd.; Xerox Corporation; and the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold.
Mr. Jordan is a graduate of DePauw University and the Howard University Law School. He holds honorary degrees from more than 60 colleges and universities in America. He is a member of the bars of Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Georgia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Bilderberg Meetings and he is President of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. Mr. Jordan is the author of Vernon Can Read! A Memoir (Public Affairs, 2001).
Edwin Meese III — Member
Edwin Meese III holds the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.—based public policy research and education institution. He is also the Chairman of Heritage’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In addition, Meese lectures, writes, and consults throughout the United States on a variety of subjects.
Meese is the author of With Reagan: The Inside Story, which was published by Regnery Gateway in June 1992; co-editor of Making America Safer, published in 1997 by the Heritage Foundation; and coauthor of Leadership, Ethics and Policing, published by Prentice Hall in 2004.
Meese served as the 75th Attorney General of the United States from February 1985 to August 1988. As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, he directed the Department of Justice and led international efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime. In 1985 he received Government Executive magazine’s annual award for excellence in management.
From January 1981 to February 1985, Meese held the position of Counsellor to the President, the senior position on the White House staff, where he functioned as the President’s chief policy advisor. As Attorney General and as Counsellor, Meese was a member of the President’s cabinet and the National Security Council. He served as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Council and of the National Drug Policy Board. Meese headed the President-elect’s transition effort following the November 1980 election. During the presidential campaign, he served as chief of staff and senior issues advisor for the Reagan-Bush Committee.
Formerly, Meese served as Governor Reagan’s executive assistant and chief of staff in California from 1969 through 1974 and as legal affairs secretary from 1967 through 1968. Before joining Governor Reagan’s staff in 1967, Meese served as deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California. From 1977 to 1981, Meese was a professor of law at the University of San Diego, where he also was Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Management.
In addition to his background as a lawyer, educator, and public official, Meese has been a business executive in the aerospace and transportation industry, serving as vice president for administration of Rohr Industries, Inc., in Chula Vista, California. He left Rohr to return to the practice of law, engaging in corporate and general legal work in San Diego County.
Meese is a graduate of Yale University, Class of 1953, and holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a retired colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He is active in numerous civic and educational organizations. Meese is married, has two grown children, and resides in McLean, Virginia.
Sandra Day O’Connor — Member
Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated by President Reagan as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on July 7, 1981, and took the oath of office on September 25. O’Connor previously served on the Arizona Court of Appeals (1979–81) and as judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona (1975–79). She was appointed as Arizona state senator in 1969 and was subsequently elected to two two-year terms from 1969 to 1975. During her tenure, she was Arizona Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the State, County, and Municipal Affairs Committee, and she served on the Legislative Council, on the Probate Code Commission, and on the Arizona Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations.
From 1965 to 1969, O’Connor was assistant attorney general in Arizona. She practiced law at a private firm in Maryvale, Arizona, from 1958 to 1960 and prior to that was civilian attorney for Quartermaster Market Center in Frankfurt, Germany (1954–57), and deputy county attorney in San Mateo County, California (1952–53).
She was previously Chairman of the Arizona Supreme Court Committee to Reorganize Lower Courts (1974–75), Vice Chairman of the Arizona Select Law Enforcement Review Commission (1979–80), and, in Maricopa County, Chairman of the Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (1960–62), the Juvenile Detention Home Visiting Board (1963–64), and the Superior Court Judges’ Training and Education Committee (1977–79) and a member of the Board of Adjustments and Appeals (1963–64).
O’Connor currently serves as Chancellor of the College of William and Mary and on the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Executive Board of the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the Advisory Committee of the American Society of International Law, Judicial. She is an honorary member of the Advisory Committee for the Judiciary Leadership Development Council, an honorary chair of America’s 400th Anniversary: Jamestown 2007, a co-chair of the National Advisory Council of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, a member of the Selection Committee of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Stanford Center on Ethics. She also serves on several bodies of the American Bar Association, including the Museum of Law Executive Committee, the Commission on Civic Education and Separation of Powers, and the Advisory Commission of the Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress.
O’Connor previously served as a member of the Anglo-American Exchange (1980); the State Bar of Arizona Committees on Legal Aid, Public Relations, Lower Court Reorganization, and Continuing Legal Education; the National Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (1974–76); the Arizona State Personnel Commission (1968–69); the Arizona Criminal Code Commission (1974–76); and the Cathedral Chapter of the Washington National Cathedral (1991–99).
O’Connor is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Arizona, the State Bar of California, the Maricopa County Bar Association, the Arizona Judges’ Association, the National Association of Women Judges, and the Arizona Women Lawyers’ Association. She holds a B.A. (with Great Distinction) and an LL.B. (Order of the Coif) from Stanford University, where she was also a member of the board of editors of the Stanford Law Review.
Leon E. Panetta — Member
Leon E. Panetta currently co-directs the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan study center for the advancement of public policy based at California State University, Monterey Bay. He serves as distinguished scholar to the chancellor of the California State University system, teaches a Master’s in Public Policy course at the Panetta Institute, is a presidential professor at Santa Clara University, and created the Leon Panetta Lecture Series.
Panetta first went to Washington in 1966, when he served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Thomas H. Kuchel of California. In 1969, he became Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and then Director of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights. His book Bring Us Together (published in 1971) is an account of that experience. In 1970, he went to New York City, where he served as Executive Assistant to Mayor John Lindsay. Then, in 1971, Panetta returned to California, where he practiced law in the Monterey firm of Panetta, Thompson & Panetta until he was elected to Congress in 1976.
Panetta was a U.S. Representative from California’s 16th (now 17th) district from 1977 to 1993. He authored the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988, the Fair Employment Practices Resolution, legislation that established Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for hospice care for the terminally ill, and other legislation on a variety of education, health, agriculture, and defense issues.
From 1989 to 1993, Panetta was Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. He also served on that committee from 1979 to 1985. He chaired the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations and Nutrition; the House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Personnel and Police; and the Select Committee on Hunger’s Task Force on Domestic Hunger. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Caucus of Vietnam Era Veterans in Congress and as a member of the President’s Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies.
Panetta left Congress in 1993 to become Director of the Office of Management and Budget for the incoming Clinton administration. Panetta was appointed Chief of Staff to the President of the United States on July 17, 1994, and served in that position until January 20, 1997.
In addition, Panetta served a six-year term on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange beginning in 1997. He currently serves on many public policy and organizational boards, including as Chair of the Pew Oceans Commission and Co-Chair of the California Council on Base Support and Retention.
Panetta has received many awards and honors, including the Smithsonian Paul Peck Award for Service to the Presidency, the John H. Chafee Coastal Stewardship Award, the Julius A. Stratton Award for Coastal Leadership, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center for the Study of the Presidency.
He earned a B.A. magna cum laude from Santa Clara University in 1960, and in 1963 received his J.D. from Santa Clara University Law School, where he was an editor of the Santa Clara Law Review. He served as a first lieutenant in the Army from 1964 to 1966 and received the Army Commendation Medal. Panetta is married to the former Sylvia Marie Varni. They have three grown sons and five grandchildren.
William J. Perry — Member
William Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor at Stanford University, with a joint appointment at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the School of Engineering. He is a senior fellow at FSI and serves as co-director of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration of Stanford and Harvard universities.
Perry was the 19th Secretary of Defense of the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense (1993–94) and as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (1977–81). He is on the board of directors of several emerging high-tech companies and is Chairman of Global Technology Partners.
His previous business experience includes serving as a laboratory director for General Telephone and Electronics (1954–64) and as founder and president of ESL Inc. (1964–77), executive vice president of Hambrecht & Quist Inc. (1981–85), and founder and chairman of Technology Strategies & Alliances (1985–93). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
From 1946 to 1947, Perry was an enlisted man in the Army Corps of Engineers, and served in the Army of Occupation in Japan. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1948 and was a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves from 1950 to 1955. He has received a number of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1997), the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1980 and 1981), and Outstanding Civilian Service Medals from the Army (1962 and 1997), the Air Force (1997), the Navy (1997), the Defense Intelligence Agency (1977 and 1997), NASA (1981), and the Coast Guard (1997). He received the American Electronic Association's Medal of Achievement (1980), the Eisenhower Award (1996), the Marshall Award (1997), the Forrestal Medal (1994), and the Henry Stimson Medal (1994). The National Academy of Engineering selected him for the Arthur Bueche Medal in 1996. He has received awards from the enlisted personnel of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force.
He has received decorations from the governments of Albania, Bahrain, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. He received a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Penn State, all in mathematics.
Charles S. Robb — Member
Charles S. Robb joined the faculty of George Mason University as a Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy in 2001. Previously he served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, from 1978 to 1982; as Virginia’s 64th Governor, from 1982 to 1986; and as a United States Senator, from 1989 to 2001.
While in the Senate he became the only member ever to serve simultaneously on all three national security committees (Intelligence, Armed Services, and Foreign Relations). He also served on the Finance, Commerce, and Budget committees.
Before becoming a member of Congress he chaired the Southern Governors’ Association, the Democratic Governors’ Association, the Education Commission of the States, the Democratic Leadership Council, Jobs for America’s Graduates, the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors, and the Virginia Forum on Education, and was President of the Council of State Governments.
During the 1960s he served on active duty with the United States Marine Corps, retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1991. He began as the Class Honor Graduate from Marine Officers Basic School in 1961 and ended up as head of the principal recruiting program for Marine officers in 1970. In between, he served in both the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions and his assignments included duty as a Military Social Aide at the White House and command of an infantry company in combat in Vietnam.
He received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1973, clerked for Judge John D. Butzner, Jr., on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and practiced law with Williams and Connolly prior to his election to state office. Between his state and federal service he was a partner at Hunton and Williams.
Since leaving the Senate in 2001 he has served as Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the United States Naval Academy, Co-Chairman (with Senior Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit) of the President’s Commission on Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Co-Chairman (with former Governor Linwood Holton) of a major landowner’s alliance that created a special tax district to finance the extension of Metrorail to Tyson’s Corner, Reston, and Dulles Airport. He has also been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard and at the Marshall Wythe School of Law at William and Mary.
He is currently on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board (Chairman of the WMD-Terrorism Task Force), the FBI Director’s Advisory Board, the National Intelligence Council’s Strategic Analysis Advisory Board, the Iraq Study Group, and the MITRE Corp. Board of Trustees (Vice Chairman). He also serves on the boards of the Space Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, the Concord Coalition, the National Museum of Americans at War, Strategic Partnerships LLC, and the Center for the Study of the Presidency–and he works on occasional projects with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is married to Lynda Johnson Robb and they have three grown daughters and one granddaughter.
Alan K. Simpson — Member
Alan K. Simpson served from 1979 to 1997 as a United States Senator from Wyoming. Following his first term in the Senate, Al was elected by his peers to the position of the Assistant Majority Leader in 1984—and served in that capacity until 1994. He completed his final term on January 3, 1997.
Simpson is currently a partner in the Cody firm of Simpson, Kepler and Edwards, the Cody division of the Denver firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge, Hersh and Jardine, and also a consultant in the Washington, D.C., government relations firm The Tongour, Simpson, Holsclaw Group. He continues to serve on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards and travels the country giving speeches. His book published by William Morrow Company, Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press (1997), chronicles his personal experiences and views of the Fourth Estate.
From January of 1997 until June of 2000, Simpson was a Visiting Lecturer and for two years the Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. During the fall of 2000 he returned to his alma mater, the University of Wyoming, as a Visiting Lecturer in the Political Science Department and he continues to team teach a class part-time with his brother, Peter, titled “Wyoming’s Political Identity: Its History and Its Politics,” which is proving to be one of the most popular classes offered at UW.
A member of a political family—his father served both as Governor of Wyoming from 1954 to 1958 and as United States Senator from Wyoming from 1962 to 1966—Al chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and began his own political career in 1964 when he was elected to the Wyoming State Legislature as a state representative of his native Park County. He served for the next thirteen years in the Wyoming House of Representatives, holding the offices of Majority Whip, Majority Floor Leader, and Speaker Pro-Tem. His only brother, Peter, also served as a member of the Wyoming State Legislature.
Prior to entering politics, Simpson was admitted to the Wyoming bar and the United States District Court in 1958 and served for a short time as a Wyoming assistant attorney general. Simpson then joined his father, Milward L. Simpson, and later Charles G. Kepler in the law firm of Simpson, Kepler and Simpson in his hometown of Cody. He would practice law there for the next eighteen years. During that time, Simpson was very active in all civic, community, and state activities. He also served ten years as City Attorney.
Simpson earned a B.S. in law from the University of Wyoming in 1954. Upon graduation from college, he joined the Army, serving overseas in the 5th Infantry Division and in the 2nd Armored Division in the final months of the Army of Occupation in Germany. Following his honorable discharge in 1956, Simpson returned to the University of Wyoming to complete his study of law, earning his J.D. degree in 1958. He and his wife Ann have three children and six grandchildren, who all reside in Cody, Wyoming.
Table of ContentsRead more
|Abbreviated Table of Contents|
|Assessment of the Current Situation in Iraq|
|Consequences of Continued Decline in Iraq|
|Some Alterrnative Courses in Iraq|
|Achieving Our Goals|
|The Way Forward—a New Approach|
|The External Approach: Building an International Consensus|
|The Internal Approach: Helping Iraqis Help Themselves|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Attacks against U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi security forces are persistent and growing. October 2006 was the deadliest month for U.S. forces since January 2005, with 102 Americans killed. Total attacks in October 2006 averaged 180 per day, up from 70 per day in January 2006. Daily attacks against Iraqi security forces in October were more than double the level in January. Attacks against civilians in October were four times higher than in January. Some 3,000 Iraqi civilians are killed every month.
Sources of Violence
Violence is increasing in scope, complexity, and lethality. There are multiple sources of violence in Iraq: the Sunni Arab insurgency, al Qaeda and affiliated jihadist groups, Shiite militias and death squads, and organized criminality. Sectarian violence--particularly in and around Baghdad--has become the principal challenge to stability.
Most attacks on Americans still come from the Sunni Arab insurgency. The insurgency comprises former elements of the Saddam Hussein regime, disaffected Sunni Arab Iraqis, and common criminals. It has significant support within the Sunni Arab community. The insurgency has no single leadership but is a network of networks. It benefits from participants' detailed knowledge of Iraq's infrastructure, and arms and financing are supplied primarily from within Iraq. The insurgents have different goals, although nearly all oppose the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq. Most wish to restore Sunni Arab rule in the country. Some aim at winning local power and control.
Al Qaeda is responsible for a small portion of the violence in Iraq, but that includes some of the more spectacular acts: suicide attacks, large truck bombs, and attacks on significant religious or political targets. Al Qaeda in Iraq is now largely Iraqi-run and composed of Sunni Arabs. Foreign fighters--numbering an estimated 1,300--play a supporting role or carry out suicide operations. Al Qaeda's goals include instigating a wider sectarian war between Iraq's Sunni and Shia, and driving the United States out of Iraq.
Sectarian violence causes the largest number of Iraqi civilian casualties. Iraq is in the grip of a deadly cycle: Sunni insurgent attacks spark large-scale Shia reprisals, and vice versa. Groups of Iraqis are often found bound and executed, their bodies dumped in rivers or fields. The perception of unchecked violence emboldens militias, shakes confidence in the government, and leads Iraqis to flee to places where their sect is the majority and where they feel they are in less danger. In some parts of Iraq--notably in Baghdad--sectarian cleansing is taking place. The United Nations estimates that 1.6 million are displaced within Iraq, and up to 1.8 million Iraqis have fled the country.
Shiite militias engaging in sectarian violence pose a substantial threat to immediate and long-term stability. These militias are diverse. Some are affiliated with the government, some are highly localized, and some are wholly outside the law. They are fragmenting, with an increasing breakdown in command structure. The militias target Sunni Arab civilians, and some struggle for power in clashes with one another. Some even target government ministries. They undermine the authority of the Iraqi government and security forces, as well as the ability of Sunnis to join a peaceful political process. The prevalence of militias sends a powerful message: political leaders can preserve and expand their power only if backed by armed force.
The Mahdi Army, led by Moqtada al-Sadr, may number as many as 60,000 fighters. It has directly challenged U.S. and Iraqi government forces, and it is widely believed to engage in regular violence against Sunni Arab civilians. Mahdi fighters patrol certain Shia enclaves, notably northeast Baghdad's teeming neighborhood of 2.5 million known as "Sadr City." As the Mahdi Army has grown in size and influence, some elements have moved beyond Sadr's control.
The Badr Brigade is affiliated with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which is led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. The Badr Brigade has long-standing ties with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Many Badr members have become integrated into the Iraqi police, and others play policing roles in southern Iraqi cities. While wearing the uniform of the security services, Badr fighters have targeted Sunni Arab civilians. Badr fighters have also clashed with the Mahdi Army, particularly in southern Iraq.
Criminality also makes daily life unbearable for many Iraqis. Robberies, kidnappings, and murder are commonplace in much of the country. Organized criminal rackets thrive, particularly in unstable areas like Anbar province. Some criminal gangs cooperate with, finance, or purport to be part of the Sunni insurgency or a Shiite militia in order to gain legitimacy. As one knowledgeable American official put it, "If there were foreign forces in New Jersey, Tony Soprano would be an insurgent leader."
Four of Iraq's eighteen provinces are highly insecure--Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, and Salah ad Din. These provinces account for about 40 percent of Iraq's population of 26 million. In Baghdad, the violence is largely between Sunni and Shia. In Anbar, the violence is attributable to the Sunni insurgency and to al Qaeda, and the situation is deteriorating.
In Kirkuk, the struggle is between Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen. In Basra and the south, the violence is largely an intra-Shia power struggle. The most stable parts of the country are the three provinces of the Kurdish north and parts of the Shia south. However, most of Iraq's cities have a sectarian mix and are plagued by persistent violence.
U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi Forces
Confronting this violence are the Multi-National Forces-Iraq under U.S. command, working in concert with Iraq's security forces. The Multi-National Forces-Iraq were authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1546 in 2004, and the mandate was extended in November 2006 for another year.
Approximately 141,000 U.S. military personnel are serving in Iraq, together with approximately 16,500 military personnel from twenty-seven coalition partners, the largest contingent being 7,200 from the United Kingdom. The U.S. Army has principal responsibility for Baghdad and the north. The U.S. Marine Corps takes the lead in Anbar province. The United Kingdom has responsibility in the southeast, chiefly in Basra.
Along with this military presence, the United States is building its largest embassy in Baghdad. The current U.S. embassy in Baghdad totals about 1,000 U.S. government employees. There are roughly 5,000 civilian contractors in the country.
Currently, the U.S. military rarely engages in large-scale combat operations. Instead, counterinsurgency efforts focus on a strategy of "clear, hold, and build"--"clearing" areas of insurgents and death squads, "holding" those areas with Iraqi security forces, and "building" areas with quick-impact reconstruction projects.
Nearly every U.S. Army and Marine combat unit, and several National Guard and Reserve units, have been to Iraq at least once. Many are on their second or even third rotations; rotations are typically one year for Army units, seven months for Marine units. Regular rotations, in and out of Iraq or within the country, complicate brigade and battalion efforts to get to know the local scene, earn the trust of the population, and build a sense of cooperation.
Many military units are under significant strain. Because the harsh conditions in Iraq are wearing out equipment more quickly than anticipated, many units do not have fully functional equipment for training when they redeploy to the United States. An extraordinary amount of sacrifice has been asked of our men and women in uniform, and of their families. The American military has little reserve force to call on if it needs ground forces to respond to other crises around the world.
A primary mission of U.S. military strategy in Iraq is the training of competent Iraqi security forces. By the end of 2006, the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq under American leadership is expected to have trained and equipped a target number of approximately 326,000 Iraqi security services. That figure includes 138,000 members of the Iraqi Army and 188,000 Iraqi police. Iraqis have operational control over roughly one-third of Iraqi security forces; the U.S. has operational control over most of the rest. No U.S. forces are under Iraqi command.
The Iraqi Army
The Iraqi Army is making fitful progress toward becoming a reliable and disciplined fighting force loyal to the national government. By the end of 2006, the Iraqi Army is expected to comprise 118 battalions formed into 36 brigades under the command of 10 divisions. Although the Army is one of the more professional Iraqi institutions, its performance has been uneven. The training numbers are impressive, but they represent only part of the story.
Significant questions remain about the ethnic composition and loyalties of some Iraqi units--specifically, whether they will carry out missions on behalf of national goals instead of a sectarian agenda. Of Iraq's 10 planned divisions, those that are even-numbered are made up of Iraqis who signed up to serve in a specific area, and they have been reluctant to redeploy to other areas of the country. As a result, elements of the Army have refused to carry out missions.
The Iraqi Army is also confronted by several other significant challenges:
.Units lack leadership. They lack the ability to work together and perform at higher levels of organization--the brigade and division level. Leadership training and the experience of leadership are the essential elements to improve performance.
.Units lack equipment. They cannot carry out their missions without adequate equipment. Congress has been generous in funding requests for U.S. troops, but it has resisted fully funding Iraqi forces. The entire appropriation for Iraqi defense forces for FY 2006 ($3 billion) is less than the United States currently spends in Iraq every two weeks.
.Units lack personnel. Soldiers are on leave one week a month so that they can visit their families and take them their pay. Soldiers are paid in cash because there is no banking system. Soldiers are given leave liberally and face no penalties for absence without leave. Unit readiness rates are low, often at 50 percent or less.
.Units lack logistics and support. They lack the ability to sustain their operations, the capability to transport supplies and troops, and the capacity to provide their own indirect fire support, close-air support, technical intelligence, and medical evacuation. They will depend on the United States for logistics and support through at least 2007.
The Iraqi Police
The state of the Iraqi police is substantially worse than that of the Iraqi Army. The Iraqi Police Service currently numbers roughly 135,000 and is responsible for local policing. It has neither the training nor legal authority to conduct criminal investigations, nor the firepower to take on organized crime, insurgents, or militias. The Iraqi National Police numbers roughly 25,000 and its officers have been trained in counterinsurgency operations, not police work. The Border Enforcement Department numbers roughly 28,000.
Iraqi police cannot control crime, and they routinely engage in sectarian violence, including the unnecessary detention, torture, and targeted execution of Sunni Arab civilians. The police are organized under the Ministry of the Interior, which is confronted by corruption and militia infiltration and lacks control over police in the provinces.
The United States and the Iraqi government recognize the importance of reform. The current Minister of the Interior has called for purging militia members and criminals from the police. But he has little police experience or base of support. There is no clear Iraqi or U.S. agreement on the character and mission of the police. U.S. authorities do not know with precision the composition and membership of the various police forces, nor the disposition of their funds and equipment. There are ample reports of Iraqi police officers participating in training in order to obtain a weapon, uniform, and ammunition for use in sectarian violence. Some are on the payroll but don't show up for work. In the words of a senior American general, "2006 was supposed to be 'the year of the police' but it hasn't materialized that way."
Facilities Protection Services
The Facilities Protection Service poses additional problems. Each Iraqi ministry has an armed unit, ostensibly to guard the ministry's infrastructure. All together, these units total roughly 145,000 uniformed Iraqis under arms. However, these units have questionable loyalties and capabilities. In the ministries of Health, Agriculture, and Transportation--controlled by Moqtada al-Sadr--the Facilities Protection Service is a source of funding and jobs for the Mahdi Army. One senior U.S. official described the Facilities Protection Service as "incompetent, dysfunctional, or subversive." Several Iraqis simply referred to them as militias.
The Iraqi government has begun to bring the Facilities Protection Service under the control of the Interior Ministry. The intention is to identify and register Facilities Protection personnel, standardize their treatment, and provide some training. Though the approach is reasonable, this effort may exceed the current capability of the Interior Ministry.
Operation Together Forward II
In a major effort to quell the violence in Iraq, U.S. military forces joined with Iraqi forces to establish security in Baghdad with an operation called "Operation Together Forward II," which began in August 2006. Under Operation Together Forward II, U.S. forces are working with members of the Iraqi Army and police to "clear, hold, and build" in Baghdad, moving neighborhood by neighborhood. There are roughly 15,000 U.S. troops in Baghdad.
This operation--and the security of Baghdad--is crucial to security in Iraq more generally. A capital city of more than 6 million, Baghdad contains some 25 percent of the country's population. It is the largest Sunni and Shia city in Iraq. It has high concentrations of both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. Both Iraqi and American leaders told us that as Baghdad goes, so goes Iraq.
The results of Operation Together Forward II are disheartening. Violence in Baghdad--already at high levels--jumped more than 43 percent between the summer and October 2006. U.S. forces continue to suffer high casualties. Perpetrators of violence leave neighborhoods in advance of security sweeps, only to filter back later. Iraqi police have been unable or unwilling to stop such infiltration and continuing violence. The Iraqi Army has provided only two out of the six battalions that it promised in August would join American forces in Baghdad. The Iraqi government has rejected sustained security operations in Sadr City.
Security efforts will fail unless the Iraqis have both the capability to hold areas that have been cleared and the will to clear neighborhoods that are home to Shiite militias. U.S. forces can "clear" any neighborhood, but there are neither enough U.S. troops present nor enough support from Iraqi security forces to "hold" neighborhoods so cleared. The same holds true for the rest of Iraq. Because none of the operations conducted by U.S. and Iraqi military forces are fundamentally changing the conditions encouraging the sectarian violence, U.S. forces seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end.
Excerpted from The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach by James A. Baker, Lee H. Hamilton, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, The Iraq Study Group
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