The Iraq Study Group made a forward-looking, independent assessment of the current and prospective situation on the ground in Iraq and how it affects the surrounding region as well as U.S. interests. The effort was undertaken at the urging of several members of Congress with agreement of the White House. A final report was released to Congress, the White House, and the public on December 6, 2006.

USIP's Role with the ISG

USIP was the facilitating organization for the Iraq Study Group (ISG), co-chaired by James A. Baker, III, and Lee H. Hamilton. As such, USIP is the repository for the ISG’s official report, titled The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach, which was downloaded more than 1.5 million times from USIP's Web site in the first two weeks after the launch of the report on December 6, 2006.

USIP facilitated the bipartisan ISG at the urging of Congress. The ISG’s mandate was to conduct a forward-looking, independent assessment of the current and prospective situation on the ground in Iraq, its impact on the surrounding region, and consequences for U.S. interests. Three organizations supported USIP in its work facilitating the ISG: the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Center for the Study of the Presidency (CSP), and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

As facilitator, USIP provided scholarly and logistical support to the ISG. It maintained an in-house Iraq expert committee and external Expert Working Groups that provided the ISG with the briefing papers and policy analyses that helped finalize their conclusions. It also coordinated the ISG’s interviews with top U.S. and foreign officials and led the group’s trip to Iraq in the Summer of 2006.

This site contains information about the ISG’s work from its inception in March 2006.


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By: USIP Staff; Nancy Lindborg; Sarhang Hamasaeed

An international conference opens in Kuwait Monday to plan ways to rebuild Iraq and secure it against renewed extremist violence following the three-year war against ISIS. A USIP team just spent nine days in Iraq for talks with government and civil society leaders, part of the Institute’s years-long effort to help the country stabilize. The Kuwait conference will gather government, business and civil society leaders to consider a reconstruction that Iraq has said could cost $100 billion. USIP’s president, Nancy Lindborg, and Middle East program director, Sarhang Hamasaeed, say any realistic rebuilding plan must focus also on the divisions and grievances in Iraq that led to ISIS’ violence and that still exist.

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