Do the denizens of the mainstream media actually, you know, know anything about anything at all?
During Monday’s press gaggle (that’s what the White House actually calls it) the subject of the pending status of forces agreement with Iraq, post-war or I should say post-victory, came up.
Q Is there any precedent for this in history? I mean, there wasn’t anything like this after Korea or Vietnam or any other kind of American engagement.
GENERAL LUTE: Well, in fact, we do have a long-term bilateral with Korea. There are about a hundred countries around the world with which we have bilateral defense or security cooperation agreements. You should think about the one that’s emerging here with Iraq as one in that same sort of setting.
Now, to anyone who has been in the military or has much familiarity with the military at all (or who gets paid to ask asinine questions about the military), the phrase “status of forces agreement” ought to ring a bell. If you’ve been stationed overseas, a status of forces agreement (or SOFA) governed the rules about your deployment, who paid for what, how our forces based in a foreign country might be used in a conflict with another country, what would happen if you got into any kind of trouble “on the economy,” etc. We’ve had SOFAs for decades with allies and former enemies (and former allies turned enemies, in the case of Cuba) for basing US troops on foreign soil for at least 100 years. So yes, unnamed ignorant reporter, there is some precedent for this. We have done it after, oh, our last half dozen war victories or so. That also answers why we didn’t establish a SOFA with Vietnam: Either you, reporter, or your forebears helped us lose, so we couldn’t stay around to win a peace that wasn’t won. The Soviets probably got a SOFA out of it, though.
In Iraq, we can stay and they want us to, so we will. If they want us gone, btw, we’ll be gone. Ask the Philippines, another country that we had a SOFA with until the 1990s.