McClatchy Publishes Translation of U.S.-Iraq Basing Deal

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 10:15 am

The good people at McClatchy have translated an Arabic text of the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement into English. Check it out here. A cursory read doesn’t reveal too much difference from the version circulating a few weeks ago on the Hill that I used as the basis for my Oct. 23 piece. Here, for instance, is the money quote:

All U.S. forces are to withdraw from all Iraqi territory, water and airspace no later than the 31st of December of 2011.

All U.S. combat forces are to withdraw from Iraqi cities, villages, and towns not later than the date that Iraqi forces assume complete responsibility of security in any Iraqi province. The withdrawal of U.S. forces from the above-mentioned places is on a date no later than the 30 June 2009. The withdrawing U.S. forces mentioned in item (2) above are to gather in the installations and areas agreed upon that are located outside of cities, villages and towns that will be determined by the Joint Military Operation Coordinating Committee (JMOCC) before the date determined in item (2) above.

It also says, as I reported, that the withdrawal could happen sooner, but with a new sentence added: “The Iraqi government admits to the sovereign right of the United States to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq at anytime.” I presume that “anytime” means “anytime before Dec. 31, 2011,” not “anytime indefinitely into the future.”

Also, Leila Fadel, McClatchy’s excellent Baghdad bureau chief, writes a great supplementary story about how the SOFA “is now called the withdrawal agreement” in Iraq because it, in her view, truly does provide “an ultimate end to the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.” And she notes this new language in Article 27, inserted almost certainly to forstall a U.S. attack on Iran:

It is not permitted to use Iraqi land, water and airspace as a route or launching pad for attacks against other countries.

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Comment posted November 19, 2008 @ 1:27 pm

I believe the new sentence is legalese for Iraq hasn't any claim on US forces.

Wesley Parish
Comment posted November 29, 2008 @ 1:15 am

Looks like something I wrote may soon be redundant:


Fade to desert scene.


A couple of Arabs looking at video camera.  Another one steps up to face it.  He is in full desert clothing.

                        ANON ARAB

All ready, mullah.


We do not wish to be enemies, Americans.  And that is why we have taken on the task you in your wealth, were too weak to consider.  We fight the terrorists – al Pentagon fi Iraq – here

(waves his arm around to indicate the land, beautiful in its austere way as deserts usually are)

so you will not have to fight them over there.


I couldn't be more delighted.

Scorpio Man
Comment posted January 31, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

that was absolutely nuts

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