ISW News Roundup - November 18, 2008

Iraqi National Policemen from 2nd Battalion, National Police Command, give food to a man and his son during a humanitarian aid mission in the Zinjali neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq, Nov. 16, 2008.


Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)


Over the weekend, Iraq's Cabinet approved the most recent version of the SOFA agreement; paving the way for a finalized agreement between the U.S. military and the Government of Iraq over the status of U.S. combat forces in the country.  Under the agreed upon plan, U.S. Forces will be permitted to remain in Iraq until 2011, must abstain from attacking Iraq's neighbors, request Iraqi approval before searching homes, and drop demands for total immunity of U.S. Forces who have committed crimes in Iraq.  While the Iraqi Cabinet's approval is a huge success for negotiations, the deal faces much criticism in the Iraqi Parliament.

New York Times - Iraqi and American Critics of Security Pact Speak Up, by Campbell Robertson and Steven Lee Meyers

Wall Street Journal - Pentagon Wary of Fast Iraq Withdrawal, by Yochi J. Dreazen

LA Times -A guide to the U.S. security agreement with Iraq, by Tina Susman

BBC - Iraqis comment on US troop deal

Associated Press - Main provisions of US-Iraq security pact

Associated Press - Iran judiciary chief lauds US-Iraqi security pact, by Ali Akbar Dareini

Associated Press - Top US officer comfortable with Iraq security deal, by Lolita C. Baldor

Reuters - Iraq, U.S. sign pact to pull troops out in 3 years, by Peter Graff

Reuters - Iraq's Sistani signals U.S. pact up to parliament

Reuters - Iran speaker urges Iraq to resist U.S. pact: report

reuters - U.S. military chief says Iraq conditions may change, by David Morgan

Washington Post - Mullen: U.S. Would Need More Than 2 Years for Iraq Withdrawal, by Ann Scott Tyson


Politics and Security

Washington Post - US-Iraq pact poses test for Iraq's security forces, by Hamza Hendawi

Stars and Stripes - Iraq's Diayala province known for female suicide bombers, by Heath Druzin

Washington Post - Iraq: provincial elections to be held Jan. 31, from AP

New York Times - Premier of Iraq Is Quietly Firing Fraud Monitors, by James Glanz and Riyadh Mohammed

Associated Press - Iraq earmarks $3 billion for Baghdad subway

LA Times - All aboard the Baghdad Metro, by  Tina Susman and Caesar Ahmed



CNN  - NATO forces fire on militants in Pakistan

New York Times - Afghanistan: Taliban Reject Peace Talks

Reuters - Afghans Expect More Talks Soon With Ex-Taliban

Wall Street Journal - Bomb in Afghanistan Kills Four Civilians, from AP

Voice of America News - Afghanistan's Taliban Reject Offer for Peace Talks

Long War Journal - Pakistan reopens Khyber crossing to NATO convoys, by Bill Roggio




New York Times - Syria: Uranium Traces Inconclusive, Head of U.N. Atomic Agency Says

BBC - UK urges 'positive' Syrian role


New York Times - Israel: 250 Palestinians to Be Released, by Isabel Kershner

BBC - Israeli incursion into south Gaza


Associated Press - Taliban siege of Pakistan elders leaves 7 dead, by Habib Khan


Associated Press - Vigil over Iran shifts from UN to the White House, by John Heilprin

Washington Post - U.N. chief raises concerns about Iranians in Iraq, by Louis Charbonneau


Middle East Times - Hezbollah, an Imminent Danger, by Olivier Guitta

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