University of Pittsburgh
December 5, 2006

Report on Iraq Is Important for Political Pressure It Applies to the Bush Administration, Pitt Faculty Expert Says

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-University of Pittsburgh faculty expert Michael Brenner, professor of international affairs in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, says the political pressure the commission report puts on the Bush White House to reconsider its Iraq policy is important as is the report's recommendations. The committee's advice includes a combination of ideas for tactical adjustments and sketches a new strategic perspective.

"Most likely, the President will concentrate on the tactical recommendations," says Brenner. "We can expect that he will cherry-pick from among those recommendations and then offer them as his own initiatives. The proposals that President Bush will find most difficult to swallow are those that point to diplomatic engagement with Iran and Syria."

Brenner says it is noteworthy that Robert Gates, the president's nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, voiced many of the same ideas in his Senate testimony yesterday that are contained in the report. He will be an important factor in the equation and may influence the President's readiness to change course, Brenner says.

Brenner's areas of research include American foreign policy, international relations theory, international political economy, and national security. He is affiliated with the Center for Transatlantic Relations in Washington, D.C.

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