Iraq Withdrawal Agreement

On 1 July 2008, Zebari stated that he had informed members of the Iraqi Parliament that, in accordance with the negotiated terms of the long-term security pact, US MPs no longer had immunity from Iraqi prosecution. U.S. State Department officials could not be immediately contacted to take a position, but Iraqi MP Mahmoud Othman said he attended the meeting and Iraqi officials were very pleased with the immunity agreement. [19] 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. [41] SOFA have been developed in the past for specific exercises and/or events55, but including a date for the withdrawal of all troops from foreign territory seems unique to this agreement.56 Withdrawal is a two-step process.

The first requires the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the cities, villages and towns of Iraq by June 30, 2009; the second requires the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraqi territory by December 31, 2011.57 The JMOCC, created to coordinate military operations, will be the areas and facilities in which U.S. forces between December 30, 2011. In addition, the agreement recognizes Iraq`s sovereign right to request the withdrawal of U.S. forces at any time, as well as the right of the United States to withdraw its troops at any time.59 Although the duration of the agreement is three years and each party can denounce the agreement with one year`s notice, both countries reserve the right to withdraw U.S. forces independently of the agreement. In an interview in April 2009, General Odierno, commander general of the Multi-National Force Iraq, said that U.S. forces may not meet the June 30, 2009 deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi cities. 60 However, on June 30, 2009, General Odierno announced that U.S.

troops had concluded the withdrawal of Iraqi cities under the agreement.61 The Obama administration was ready to « shake up » the terms of the 2008 Armed Forces Status Agreement as long as the new agreement was ratified as the first by the Iraqi parliament. The United States reportedly made efforts to establish a SOFA with the Iraqi Governing Council before the transfer of sovereignty and the establishment of the Iraqi transitional government, but Iraqi officials felt that only a permanent government in Iraq would have the power to conclude binding international agreements.