Status of Forces Agreement
This week, several media outlets have reported that a draft security agreement, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), has been agreed upon by Iraq and the United States. As the Associated Press reports, "The draft calls for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraqi cities by the end of June next year and leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011, unless the Baghdad government asks them to stay." While this long-awaited draft agreement represents progress, a key hurdle remains, as the agreement must be approved by the Iraqi parliament before the end of the year.
A new timeline on the SOFA produced by Jeremy Domergue and Marisa Cochrane at the Institute for the Study of War documents these contentious negotiations, which have been complicated by dual discussions between Iraq and Iran.
Be sure to read the new ISW SOFA Timeline to understand the complexity and political implications that surround the agreement.