16 November, 2008

Status of forces agreement

At long last, a status of forces agreement (SOFA, if you like acronyms) has been reached between the United States and Iraq. It's pending approval by the Iraqi parliament, but that should be straightforward. It is not a case of Iraq rolling over and giving the US whatever it wanted, but it does facilitate the transition to a situation where American troops are rare, relatively invisible, and on their way out.

Terms of the agreement include the following:

  • American forces will vacate Iraqi cities and towns by summer 2009.
  • American forces will vacate Iraq by the end of 2011.
  • U.S. soldiers are guaranteed immunity except in cases of serious felonies committed while off duty outside their bases.
Obama's promises are being overtaken by events on the ground--in a good way. This is a reasonable plan for withdrawal.

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