U.S.-Iraq Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight [January 21, 2011] [open pdf - 178KB]
"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.' Among other things, the Declaration proclaims the parties' intention to enter an agreement that would commit the United States to provide security assurances to Iraq, arm and train Iraqi security forces, and confront Al Qaeda and other terrorist entities within Iraqi territory. On November 17, 2008, after months of negotiations, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari signed two documents: (1) the Strategic Framework Agreement for a Relationship of Friendship and Cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Iraq, and (2) the Agreement Between the United States of America and Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq. The second agreement is commonly referred to as the SOFA [Status of Forces Agreement] between the United States and Iraq and is incorporated by reference into the larger strategic agreement."
CRS Report for Congress, R40011