Sunday, October 19, 2008

Excerpts from draft SOFA with Iraq

This is from the Information Clearing house (from AP)
Quite a bit more power is given to Iraqi authorities compared to what they have at present but there are some issues that no doubt will cause trouble as far as passage through parliament is concerned. There is still a wide immunity for US forces and contractors so wide as not to be acceptable to many Iraqis. There have already been large demonstrations against the agreement.

Excerpts From Draft U.S.-Iraqi "Security" AgreementBy The Associated PressOctober 18, 2008 -- -October 17, 2008 -- (AP) - Excerpts from the draft U.S.-Iraqi security agreement meant to replace the U.N. mandate for American-led forces in Iraq, which expires on Dec. 31. The Associated Press obtained a copy and translated the material from Arabic._

U.S. armed forces personnel and civilian elements commit to respect Iraqi laws, customs, traditions and charters during the execution of military operations under this agreement, and they refrain from any activity that does not agree with the spirit and text of this agreement, and the United States is obliged to take all the necessary measures in this respect.___For the purpose of deterring internal and external threats against the Republic of Iraq and to cement cooperation to defeat al-Qaida in Iraq and other outlawed groups, the two parties agreed on a temporary basis on the following:_ The Iraqi government requests the temporary assistance of U.S. forces for the purpose of supporting its effort to safeguard security and stability in Iraq including cooperation in carrying out operations against al-Qaida, other terror groups and outlawed groups, including remnants of the former regime._ All military operations under this agreement are carried out with the agreement of the Iraqi government and full coordination with Iraqi authorities. Supervising all these military operations will be a joint committee to coordinate military operations (JMOCC), which will be set up under this agreement. Issues related to the proposed military operations that the joint committee cannot resolve are referred to the joint ministerial committee._ All these operations must be executed with full respect to the Iraqi constitution and Iraqi laws and in line with Iraq's sovereignty and national interests as outlined by the Iraqi government. It is the duty of the U.S. forces to respect Iraq's laws, customs, traditions and international law._ The two sides agree to continue their efforts to cooperate on bolstering the security capabilities of Iraq according to what they agree on, including training, equipping, support, supply, building and modernizing logistical structures (transport, housing and supplying troops).___The control and monitoring of Iraqi air space is handed over to Iraqi authorities once this agreement is in force.___The United States has the primary right to exercise judicial jurisdiction over (U.S.) military personnel and civilians (contracted by the U.S. Defense Department) as far as incidents that take place inside the agreed facilities and areas and in the case of missions outside the agreed facilities and areas and under conditions not covered by the text of the second clause of this article._Iraq has the primary right to exercise judicial jurisdiction over (U.S.) military personnel and civilians (contracted by the Defense Department) in respect of premeditated and gross felonies mentioned in clause 8 of this article and which are committed outside the agreed facilities and areas and when not on a mission.

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