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In an attempt to provide new ideas and fresh thinking about the war in Iraq and also to bridge some of the differences between Republicans and Democrats about the war, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., has proposed a kind of bipartisan war cabinet of strategy advisers.

Lieberman acknowledges that his proposal may be naive, but the need for a break in the stalemate in Iraq is both undeniable and urgent, and a war cabinet of the kind Lieberman suggests may help break it.

Lieberman, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 2000, proposed … that the president and congressional leaders form a bipartisan Victory in Iraq Working Group comprising congressional Republicans and Democrats, plus high-ranking national security officials in the administration. The group, he said, would meet regularly, at least weekly, to "discuss conditions and progress on the ground in Iraq and ways to alter or improve our strategy for victory." …

The recommendations of a war cabinet established by the president and Congress … would have much more weight and would therefore be much more difficult to ignore than, say, the views of a dissident Democrat. …

If he (President Bush) thinks staying the course is the best course - which is what he seems to think - he probably won't go along with it. But if he is looking for new ideas, or being told by other Republicans to listen to new ideas, then he should.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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