U.S.-Iraq Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight [December 12, 2008] [open pdf - 187KB]
"The U.S. has been involved in military operations in Iraq since March of 2003. The legal framework under which the U.S. has operated includes H.J.Res. 114 (P.L. 107-243), multiple Security Council Resolutions, as well as orders under the Coalition Provisional Authority. The U.N. Security Council extended the mandate for the multinational forces through December 31, 2008.  Congress has several tools by which to exercise oversight regarding negotiation, form, conclusion, and implementation of agreements by the United States and although the agreements with Iraq were negotiated and concluded as executive agreements, they have not been implemented. The agreements are not scheduled to be in force until January 1, 2009, and even then, there remain many unanswered questions about the specific terms within the SOFA [Status of Forces Agreement]. This report begins by discussing the historical legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq. The report then provides a general background as to the contents of agreements traditionally considered Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Finally, the report discusses specific aspects of the SOFA, highlighting issues that may require continued congressional oversight."
CRS Report for Congress, R40011
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/