Local Representatives Respond to Iraq Study Group Report - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Representatives Respond to Iraq Study Group Report

KENNEWICK, Wash.- Local representatives are responding to a stinging Iraq Study Group report.

Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell call it clear evidence a policy change must be made.

Senator Cantwell said the report validates what they've been arguing for.

"We do not recommend a stay the course solution. In our opinion that approach is no longer viable," said James Baker, Co-Chair of the group. 

The bipartisan group's report says diplomacy is the path toward stabilizing the situation, and reducing our military effort may also be key.

Cantwell says training and preparing the Iraqi army is key.

The plan calls for a pullout of nearly all U.S. combat troops by early 2008, and change in the current administration's policy.

Some feel Robert Gates's recent nomination for Secretary of Defense could serve as proof.

"He is going to come in at a time when we're going in a new direction," Cantwell said.

Ten more American troops died in Wednesday's fighting.

The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating

A bipartisan, half republican, half democrat panel, unanimously prepared the report.

It also calls for the U.S. to work more with Iran and Syria to stabilize the region.

President Bush hasn't said how he'll assess it, but isn't taking the report lightly.

"This report will give us all an opportunity to find common ground for the good of the country," he said.

Congressman Doc Hastings's office didn't return phone calls.

It is unknown how he'll respond.

Senator Murray issued a short statement saying it's now up to the president to decide on a new direction.

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