This announcement became a source of interest to Congress115, in part following statements by Bush administration officials that such an agreement would not be submitted to the legislative branch for approval, although the United States may have been required to provide “security guarantees” to Iraq.116 Several hearings were held at the 110th Congress on the proposed security agreement. In late 2007, Congress passed the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense (2008), which contained a provision limiting the resources it had made available because they were used by U.S. authorities, 117 In October 2008, Congress passed the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2009, which a report by the Chairman to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Foreign Relations and Armed Services of the Senate on any agreement between the United States and Iraq on specific issues, including security guarantees or U.S. obligations, fundamental rights and the status of U.S. forces in Iraq 118 Several legislative proposals have been presented , which would have required either submitting such an agreement to the Senate for consultation and approval. In a November 26, 2007 press release on the declaration, General Douglas Lute, Presidential Assistant for Iraq and Afghanistan, stated that the government did not foresee a forward-looking agreement with Iraq “which has the status of a formal treaty that would then lead us to formal negotiations or formal contributions from Congress.” Office of White House Spokesman, Press Gaggle of Dana Perino and General Douglas Lute, Presidential Assistant for Iraq and Afghanistan, November 26, 2007, available from In 1954, the United States and the Republic of Korea concluded a mutual defence treaty.86 As part of the treaty, countries agree to try to resolve international disputes peacefully, to consult with them whenever the political independence or security of one of the three armed attacks is threatened, and that each party would act to deal with the common danger in accordance with its respective constitutional processes.87 Article IV of the treaty “confers law on the United States” … 88 Under the Treaty, including Article IV, countries concluded a SOFA in 1966 containing protocols and an exchange of agreed notes; it was amended on January 18, 2001. The Status of the Armed Forces Agreement (“SOFA”) is an agreement between two countries that provides for the deployment of troops from one country to the territory of another country.

Some of these agreements are long and involved, such as the SOFA between Panama and the United States, which was implemented in 1979. There was a large military presence in the former canal area and various military operations had to be covered. Other agreements, such as the agreement between the United States and Bahrain, cover only a few pages. A SOFA is not a mutual defence agreement or a security agreement and generally does not authorize any specific exercise, activity or mission. SOFAs are peace documents and therefore do not deal with the rules of war, the laws of armed conflict or the laws of the sea. The existence of a SOFA does not affect or diminish the inherent right of the parties to self-defence under martial law. In the event of an armed conflict between the parties to a SOFA, the terms of the agreement would no longer be applicable.