U.S./Iraqi Security Pact Approved
Nov. 27, 2008
A Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) is an agreement between a nation with foreign troops occupying it and that foreign nation. The U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (official name "Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq") was passed by the Iraqi Parliament on November 27, 2008. The U.S.-Iraq SOFA dictated that all U.S. forces withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by the end of 2011.
This pact was a key step towards wrapping up the situation in Iraq and pulling U.S. forces out of there. This event was largely instigated by the countless protests (pictured) across Iraq for the United States forces to withdraw from Iraq. The agreement stated that it would be “subject to possible further negotiations which could delay withdrawal” and that a re-vote scheduled for mid-2009 in Iraq may require U.S. forces to completely leave by the middle of 2010. The pact also stated that all military forces in Iraq must have criminal charges in order to hold a prisoner for over 24 hours and that warrants are required for searching houses and other buildings that are not related to combat.
There was widespread outrage all over Iraq at the signing of this agreement as many Iraqis saw this as prolonging a "humiliating" occupation. In retaliation, tens of thousands of Iraqis burned effigies of President George W. Bush in Firdos Square in central Baghdad where U.S. soldiers took down the statue of Saddam five years earlier during the invasion. President Bush however, praised the agreement and signed it shortly afterwards on December 14, 2008. On his fourth and final trip to Iraq to sign the security pact, President Bush met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and appeared before press where he said that more work needed to be done.