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U.S.-Iraq Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight
U.S.-Iraq Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: I

Our Price: $10.00
By R. Chuck Mason (au)
Year: 2009
Pages: 11
Binding Paperback

Product Code: 1437920721

The U.S. has been involved in military operations in Iraq since March of 2003. The legal framework under which the U.S. has operated includes H.J.Res. 114 (P.L. 107-243), multiple U.N. Security Council Resolutions, as well as orders under the Coalition Provisional Authority. The U.N. Security Council extended the mandate for the multinational forces through Dec.31, 2008. On Nov. 26, 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamel Al-Maliki signed a Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the U.S.A. The parties pledged to “begin as soon as possible, with the aim to achieve, before July 31, 2008, agreements between the two governments with respect to the political, cultural, economic, and security spheres.”On Nov. 17, 2008, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari signed two documents: (1) the Strategic Framework Agreement for a Relationship of Friendship and Cooperation between the U.S. and the Republic of Iraq, and (2) the Agreement Between the U.S.A. and Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq. The second agreement, commonly referred to as the SOFA between the U.S. and Iraq, is incorporated by reference into the larger strategic agreement. Congress has several tools by which to exercise oversight regarding negotiation, form, conclusion, and implementation of agreements by the U.S. The agreements with Iraq were negotiated and concluded as executive agreements and entered into force on Jan. 1, 2009, and yet there remain many unanswered questions about the specific terms within the SOFA. This report begins by discussing the historical legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq and then provides a general background as to the content of agreements traditionally considered Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Finally, it discusses specific aspects of the SOFA, highlighting issues that may require continued congressional oversight.

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