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A look at the Iraq advisory group

WASHINGTON—The Iraq Study Group was created in March 2006 at the urging of Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., to provide an outside view of developments in Iraq.

The group's membership is composed of five Republicans and five Democrats and is expected to issue a single report in early December. Congress appropriated $1.3 million to fund the group's activities, which are being coordinated by the United States Institute for Peace, a government-financed think tank devoted to foreign policy issues.

Two of the group's original Republican members, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former CIA Director William Gates, resigned. Giuliani said he didn't have time to devote to the effort, and Gates resigned after President Bush designated him secretary of defense last week.

The group's current members are:


_James A. Baker, III. Co-chair. A lawyer by training and former Marine, Baker served as secretary of state and White House chief of staff under the first President Bush and was chief of staff and later treasury secretary under President Reagan. He ran the current President Bush's Florida election effort after the controversial 2000 presidential vote and was Bush's special envoy to renegotiate Iraqi debt in 2003.

_Lawrence S. Eagleburger. A career foreign service officer who also served in the Army, Eagleburger held a variety of U.S. foreign policy jobs before he was appointed secretary of state during the last month of the first President Bush's presidency. After leaving government in 1993, Eagleburger joined the Memphis, Tenn.-based law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. He replaced Gates.

_Edwin Meese III. Meese, who served in the Army and was attorney general under Ronald Reagan, currently holds the Ronald Reagan chair in public policy at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, and is a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He replaced Giuliani.

_Sandra Day O'Connor. Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by Reagan in 1981 after a long career in Arizona politics, O'Connor was considered a decisive swing vote on key court issues, such as abortion. She retired in 2005 and now serves as the chancellor of the College of William and Mary.

_Alan K. Simpson. A U.S. senator from Wyoming from 1979 until 1997, Simpson teaches at the University of Wyoming and is a partner in a Wyoming law firm. He served in the Army.


_Lee H. Hamilton, Co-Chair. Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a government-sponsored think tank devoted to public policy, Hamilton previously served 34 years in the House of Representatives, where he was chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Intelligence Committee. Since leaving Congress he's served on a number of investigating commissions, including the 9/11 commission, which he co-chaired.

_Vernon E. Jordan Jr. A former adviser to President Bill Clinton, Jordan is a senior managing director of Lazard Freres & Co., a New York City investment banking firm, and a senior counsel with the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. He previously was president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League Inc. and the executive director of the United Negro College Fund.

_Leon E. Panetta. Former White House chief of staff under Clinton, Panetta currently heads the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay, Calif. He served in the Army.

_William J. Perry. Currently a professor at Stanford University, Perry served in the Army and was Clinton's secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997. A mathematician by training, he's co-director of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration of Stanford and Harvard University. He serves on the board of directors of several emerging high-tech companies and is chairman of Global Technology Partners.

_Charles S. Robb. Currently the distinguished professor of law and public policy at George Mason University School of Law, Robb served as the governor of Virginia from 1982 to 1986 and as U.S. senator from 1989 to 2001. The former Marine is the only member of Congress ever to have served on the intelligence, armed services and foreign relations committees simultaneously. He married Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, at the White House in 1967.

Source: United States Institute for Peace; McClatchy Newspapers


(c) 2006, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.