Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Iraqi SOFA (or, uhm, MOU or something) Completed?

The WaPo is reporting that, "Iraqi and U.S. negotiators have completed a draft security agreement that would see American troops leave Iraqi cities as soon as June 30, Iraqi and American officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday." The story notes that the agreement includes language regarding the status of U.S. forces and, specifically, legal jurisdiction over them. However, the story seems to diverge from its initial "completed a draft" tag line when discussing the immunity issue,
[Another] official said a compromise had been worked out on the contentious issue of whether to provide U.S. troops immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law, but he did not give details. In Washington, the senior military official said the draft agreement reflects the U.S. position that the United States must retain exclusive legal jurisdiction over its troops in Iraq. While Iraqi negotiators signed off on the draft, another official close to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the country's political leadership objected to parts of the text, including the immunity provision.
Seems like they aren't any closer to resolving the issue.


Anonymous said...

The Iraqis whould have to develop a legal system not based on tribal warfare before we'd agree to submit to it. As anyone back from there knows, they're not there yet.

Anonymous said...

This posting is far afield from military justice topics. It seems like this is denegrating into politics. Judge Advocates, like everyone else, have differing opinions on the Iraq war, but blogging about them is inappropriate and probably unethical.

No Man said...

Anon 1141, 21 Aug 08:

I have to ask you what post you are reading? This post discusses something that is solely military justice related, "the status of U.S. forces and, specifically, legal jurisdiction over them." Hmmm, legal jurisdiction over them, I wonder what legal regimen that would be? And whose blogging about "differing opinions about the war" or politics? The post repeats the WaPo story and notes an inconsistency. The last sentence draws a conclusion from the report, i.e. that the process still seems to be unresolved.

Pardon my sarcasm, but I think you need to re-read the post or get your . . . well, just re-read the post, I don't want to have to censor myself.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1141:

Maybe you should start your own miljus blog, where you can properly monitor the posts and ensure that nothing innapropriate appears. You can be the sole decision-maker on what is appropriate. I also recommend you brush up on your ethics training. But as for this blog, if you think something doesn't belong, how about you just skip it and move on to the next post?

John O'Connor said...

As much as it pains me, I have to agree with No Man. I didn't see anything particularly political here, and the relevance to military justice seemed rather obvious to me.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing political about the post, its a discussion on jurisdiction.

However, I see were Anon's concern is. When I first glanced at the topic I initially thought the post would be political.

I do see that this has the probability of becoming a political post by attracting pro/con views on the war and Iraq.

Infact, by expressing that this is a political post, Anon's arguement may become a self-fufilling prophecy were indeed it becomes political.

Anyways, my opinion (like it matters) is that the U.S. must retain exclusive jurisdiction of its troops. It is asinine to believe giving Iraq the power to prosecute our troops makes any kind of sense except those internationalist at the Hague.

For one, we know their legal system is garbage compared to ours and our troops would be found guilty of whatever charges were cooked up.

Two, we are an occupying force. It would have made no sense to give Germany/Japan jurisdiction over our troops in only a few years after WWII. Because, and getting to my next point, things are still very delicate over there. We have made progress, but the current Iraqi Government can be uprooted at anytime.

President Malarky and the rest of the ingrates should be told what is going to happen. I don't understand why their are "negotiations" to begin with. We should just tell them what's going to happen and that's it. We have given them too much autonomy in some areas (like foriegn policy and giving contracts to Iran and China). But not enough autonomy in other areas (like paying for their own reconstruction instead of sitting on a 80 Billion surplus). It's backwards to me.

egn said...

... and bingo. Anon 1323 managed to turn the discussion from one on jurisdiction to one on politics. And yes, it is politics even if it's international and not domestic.