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U.s.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement

Experts believe that a review of the agreement is necessary to maintain relations between the two sides. The United States and the Iraqi government have negotiated two historic agreements: a Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) that covers our general political, economic and security relations with Iraq and a security agreement – also known as the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) – that implements our security relations. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of strategic relations and their determination to take appropriate measures to strengthen them in the interests of both countries and to ensure security, stability and prosperity in the region. The U.S. government welcomed the opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen its partnership with Iraq when Prime Minister Moustafa al-Kadhimi begins his term. Both governments are awaiting, as expected, in-depth discussions on the above issues at a meeting of the Higher Coordinating Committee of the Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. in July. This measure is part of an agreement with the Iraqi government and coalition partners and responds to the risks associated with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to U.S. military personnel on new rules of engagement, General Ray Odierno said 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] On 8 July 2008, the Great Ajatollah Ali al-Sistani rejected the proposed agreement on the grounds that it violated Iraqi sovereignty after meeting with Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie. [20] Rubaie, who on 7 July told Maliki that Iraq would accept a declaration of intent instead of a SOFA, said: “We will not accept a declaration of intent if it does not give a specific date for the total withdrawal of foreign troops.” [21] Deputy Spokesman Khaled al-Attiyah also said on 8 July that the Iraqi Parliament would insist on reviewing an agreement with the United States and that it would probably veto the agreement if US troops were immunized against Iraqi law: “If the two sides reach an agreement, it is undoubtedly between two countries and, according to the Iraqi Constitution , a national agreement must be agreed by Parliament by a two-thirds majority.” [22] On the same day, Secretaries Gates and Rice held secret closed briefings for U.S. lawmakers, and none of the officials spoke to reporters. Democratic Congressman William Delahunt said, “There was no meaningful consultation with Congress during the negotiations on this agreement and the American people were totally abandoned in all respects.” And Oona Hathaway, a Law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, called the lack of consultation with the U.S.

Congress unprecedented and said aspects of the agreement go beyond the independent constitutional powers of the President of the United States. [29] With regard to the security partnership, the two countries acknowledged that the United States would continue to reduce its Iraqi troops in the coming months and to discuss with the Iraqi government the status of the remaining armed forces, with both countries focusing on developing bilateral security relations on the basis of strong mutual interests.