"T+1": OR HOW...

"T+1": OR HOW A BIPARTISAN IRAQ STRATEGY MIGHT EMERGE. From the proverbial well-informed correspondent:

The story in the NYT today about Gates bringing in old advisors and critics of Rummy/Iraq policy and cleaning out the 'E Ring' seems to be more evidence that the administration is using the [Gates] nomination to signal and provide a down payment on a change in course. It looks like the administrations plans to meet with the [Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group (ISG)] next week (then the Dems will meet with them), and that the ISG will be the focal point for a new strategy, which increasingly looks like it may involve (at least informal) talks with Iran. We'll see how much these meetings actually SHAPE the ISG findings that will be released next month. In other words, it looks like the following process is unfolding: at time 't' the ISG meets with Bush/Dems, floats a few ideas, gets feedback, and integrates the feedback into its sense of what kind of bipartisan strategy is possible; then at 't+1' the ISG offers its 'independent' recommendations that become the baseline for a bipartisan change in strategy. We'll see.

A single, focus-group-tested, bi-partisan recommendation, rather than a menu of options?

--Laura Rozen

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