Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning the Prospective Security Agreement Between the United States and Iraq [February 7, 2008] [open pdf - 201KB]
"On November 26, 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamel Al-Maliki signed a Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America. Pursuant to this Declaration, the parties pledged to 'begin as soon as possible, with the aim to achieve, before July 31, 2008, agreements between the two governments with respect to the political, cultural, economic, and security spheres.' The nature and form of such a U.S.-Iraq security agreement has been a source of congressional interest, in part because of statements by General Douglas Lute, Assistant to the President for Iraq and Afghanistan, who suggested that any such agreement was unlikely to take the form of a treaty, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, or otherwise require congressional approval This report begins by providing a general background as to the types of international agreements that are binding upon the United States, as well as considerations affecting whether they take the form of a treaty or an executive agreement. Next, the report discusses historical precedents as to the role that security agreements have taken, with specific attention paid to past agreements entered with Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. The report then discusses the oversight role that Congress plays with respect to entering and implementing international agreements involving the United States."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34362