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Re: Iraq SOFA


A friend writes:


One of the items in the Weekly Standard’s blog this morning was the following (in part):

At the new White House website, Obama lays out his agenda for Iraq. In addition to assuring the American people that he “had the judgment and courage to speak out against going to war” (unlike the cowardly fool Joe Biden), Obama promises a responsible withdrawal, a ‘diplomatic surge,’ a new effort to assist refugees, and then this odd item:

The Status-of-Forces Agreement


Obama and Biden believe it is vital that a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) be reached so our troops have the legal protections and immunities they need. Any SOFA should be subject to Congressional review to ensure it has bipartisan support here at home.


This is exactly the point John Yoo and John Bolton made in their NYT op-ed earlier this month:  the Obama web site implies this will go to both houses of Congress, not just the Senate.  I don’t think a real SOFA needs even Senate approval.  It is incidental enough that it can be done as an Executive Agreement.  But to present it as a congressional-executive agreement rather than as a treaty is something new.


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