Niall Ferguson's analysis of the Iraq Study Group's recommendations are not at all what we've been told, and may not at all be what it sounds like.
To Ferguson, the ISG doesn't advocate leaving, quite the contrary
'Stay but don't screw up':
... anyone who bothers to read the ISG's report carefully — as opposed to skimming the executive summary — can see that it neither proposes "quitting" Iraq nor pins serious hope on Iranian or Syrian assistance. Quite the reverse.Hopefully Congress sees it the same way. Read the whole thing.
Persuasion in the realm of grand strategy is more a matter of rhetorical art than science. The first essential step is to identify your target audience. Most readers of the report assume that it is directed at President Bush. That is wrong. Its principal target audience is Congress, and particularly the new Democratic majorities in both houses. And the aim is not to persuade a stubborn president to admit defeat. Rather, the report's aim is to persuade legislators that withdrawal from Iraq — no matter how much their constituents may yearn for it — is not an option. The report's other intended readership is Arab governments throughout the Middle East. The message for them is the same: an American exit from the region is what you most have to fear.