On 16 November 2008, the Iraqi cabinet approved the agreements; on 27 November, the Iraqi Parliament ratified it; On 4 December, the Iraqi Presidential Council approved the security pacts.  On November 17, 2008, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker signed the agreement at an official ceremony.  In a letter to the U.S. military about new rules of engagement, General Ray Odierno said that U.S. forces would reduce their visibility, but that this does not mean “any reduction in our fundamental ability to protect ourselves.” Odierno wrote that U.S. forces would “coordinate operations with the agreement of the GoI (Government of Iraq), and we will conduct all operations through, with and through the Iraqi security forces. … Despite some adjustments in the way we conduct operations, the agreement only strengthens the transitions already underway and I want to emphasize that our general principles remain unchanged,” he added. Meanwhile, U.S.
officials have repeatedly stated that neither agreement will tie the hands of the next government. The agreements “will not create permanent bases in Iraq and will not in any way determine the number of U.S. forces stationed there,” Ambassador David Satterfield, a senior adviser on Iraqi policy, told lawmakers in March 2008. Questions about what the United States has abandoned could dwell on. Yales Hathaway says sofa, as discussed publicly, goes beyond agreements negotiated with former allies. “Sofa is a bad name here; It`s a SOFA-plus. And it is the “plus” that is controversial. Hathaway says a so-called “right on combat” clause – the legal authority to carry out military missions when the UN mandate expires – is the “pivot” of the debate. Other experts say the provision that U.S. troops must leave Iraqi cities by the summer of 2009 could render them powerless when it comes to containing future violence.
Among the most discussed changes outlined in the security agreement, in addition to the withdrawal of cities by mid-2009 and the total withdrawal by the end of 2011, are requirements for US troops to coordinate missions with the Iraqi government; transferring prisoners to the Iraqi authorities; abandoning control of the Green Zone; and to give the Iraqi authorities the direction of monitoring Iraqi airspace. The agreement also allows non-military contractors to be subject to Iraqi law, a change that supporters fear will open up to unfair prosecution of civilians. Al-Khadhimi thus arrives in the United States under enormous political pressure with his own hand to reach a substantial agreement. Meanwhile, pro-Iranian militias are expressing their displeasure at the increase in attacks on American bases and convoys in recent days. They are expected to continue before the meeting and may escalate. There is no treaty or status of the Armed Forces Agreement (SOFA) allowing the presence of American troops in Iraq. The U.S. military presence is informal and to the delight of the Iraqi government, which means that the government can revoke this invitation at any time.Leave a reply