Monday, December 01, 2008

Iraqi SOFA Signed For . . . With Unexpected Delivery Charges for PM Maliki [UPDATED]

Have you ever had that moment, just after signing the receipt when you buy a new piece of furniture, that you feel that somehow you have been duped into doing something you didn't want to do? You intended to spend $500 on a sofa, but with delivery charges and the Rolls Royce fabric protection plan you ended up spending $750? I wonder if Iraqi PM Maliki feels that way today. According to multiple reports, AP and the NYT, to name a few, Maliki expended significant political capital to get the US-Iraq SOFA through Parliament last week. The only remaining step to its approval in Iraq is approval by the 3 person Presidential Council, which is expected to happen shortly.

Effective Jan. 1, 2009, the agreement states that US troops are subject to some forms of Iraqi court jurisdiction for a narrow band of criminal actions off base and US government contractor employees (including those subject to the UCMJ) are subject to Iraqi criminal (and civil) jurisdiction for actions on Iraqi soil. A footnote to the negotiations is that all this could change come July 2009 when the agreement goes to a national referendum in Iraq.

UPDATE at 1:00 pm: Here is a link to the official White House (.gov) version of the SOFA. I did not notice any differences from the version we earlier posted.

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