WASHINGTON – President Bush and his national security team will meet Monday with members of a blue-ribbon commission trying to devise a new course for the unpopular war in Iraq.
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton of Indiana, is expected to report its recommendations before the end of the year.
Members of the group will have a joint conference at the White House with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
The group will have individual meetings with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, and CIA Director Michael Hayden. They also will talk with Zalmay Khalizad, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad.
Robert Gates, picked by Bush to succeed Rumsfeld, has been a member of the Iraq Study Group. He is resigning and will not take part in Monday's meetings, White House press secretary Tony Snow said.
Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state in the last two months of President George H.W. Bush's term, will replace Gates on the commission, said Anais Haase, Eagleburger's executive assistant. Eagleburger, 76, was deputy secretary of state to Baker during the first Bush's administration and had a 27-year career as an American diplomat.