Skip to comments.U.S. drops immunity from Iraqi SOFA
Posted on 06/18/2008 6:16:12 PM PDT by BGHater
The United States dropped demands to give foreign security contractors immunity from Iraqi law in the draft security arrangement with Iraq, officials say.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari Wednesday told London newspaper The Independent that U.S. officials accepted requests from Iraqi negotiators to drop the immunity demand.
There are roughly 160,000 U.S. security contractors working in Iraq, compared with approximately 145,000 U.S. military forces, the newspaper said.
Zebari is a staunch supporter of the arrangement, in contrast to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who said negotiations regarding the security deal, formally the status of forces agreement, had "reached a dead end."
Iraqi negotiators, including Zebari, are in Washington this week studying SOFA deals between the United States and other countries, such as Japan and Turkey. Further considerations on the table include more coordination with Iraqi authorities over U.S. military operations and a joint Iraqi-American center to oversee counter-terrorism efforts in the country.
Though Maliki's stance has softened somewhat, critics of the security arrangement see it as undermining Iraqi sovereignty and question the negotiating line offered by U.S. officials.
Time to pack it in as a contractor when that thing gets signed... unless ya really love the dough and living on the edge a bit.
WOW. That’s a bit shocking. More “security contractors” than the troops.
Damn straight! BTW, is this remaining firm to the overall committment? I can’t see how bowing to pressure on this matter will help us attain victory in Iraq. I’d be headed for the exit ASAP if I were a contractor. Then who would fill those jobs? Iraqis? Good luck.
“Then who would fill those jobs? Iraqis? Good luck.”
Actually, yes. The IA is leading more and more of the anti-Sadr and anti-”insurgency” (actually foreign fighter) battle. Thus, the need for contractors is rapily diminishing.
As long as actual US military personnel are not subject to foreign jurisdiction, I for one am OK with it.
Actually, the Iraqi MoD plans to systematically phase out contracted maintenance and life support this year. They are training their own for the job because it costs less to employ Iraqis and it employs more. Most of the contractors there are supporting ISF, not coalition forces. Almost 600,000 ISF now...
Also, they are replacing the foreign guards employed for guarding the GoI in the IZ with the Presidential Brigade...
I can follow that logic to a point. I don’t know what the number of contractors has done over the last six months. We may be headed to zero in the next year, but I don’t see 145,000 being easy to replace before their immunity expires.
It seems it would have been more prudent to promise a draw-down as rapidly as possible and allow the Iraqis to feel like they’d forced that.
What we have here are a bunch of U.S. Citizens in Iraq trying to help win the war for the Iraqis, and the Iraqis trying to maneuver so that they can prosecute them.
Thanks for the comments. When does the immunity expire? If it’s the end of 2008 and our contractors are out by then, I’m fine with it.
That ISF number is looking good.
I would venture to guess that they are calling “security contractors” everyone from actual security through police and fire trainers to drivers , medical and kitchen help.
As a former security contractor I will say this is a bad idea. Any time and Iraqi wants to accuse a security contarctor of murder the guy will be at the mercy of the Iraqi court system. Not a Muslim? Not an Iraqi you will be found guilty regardless of even if the incident took place. Time to pack it in boys things are going to get shitty fast.
The American security contractors have nothing to do with actually fighting terrorists of any kind. We are there to provide secuirty for VIPs and cother American contractors conducting missions in the country. If we have to fire a weapon it will be to protect the lives of our principals or ourselves.
The title should be changed to mention that this is for Civilian Contractors not our troops.
SOFA stands for Status Of Forces Agreement and as such only should apply to our Armed Forces.
I expect the security contractors to be gone at end-year.
Some of the support which is included in that number will still be there but, they don’t leave the FOBs. Over time they all will be phased out. Starting with the armed ones this year...
The change goes into effect with the end of the UN status which is to expire Jan 1. That is why the negotiations now. To settle things by end-year.
Good. That sounds workable then. Thanks.
The MoI has started moving in that direction as well.
Thought they were but, I had not seen anything to confirm...