Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SOFA text

mcclatchy published an unofficial translation of the SOFA that was recently approved by the iraqi parliament. raed jarrar's translation is here. (i haven't gone through the two english versions line-by-line, but they look fairly similar to me). the original arabic version of the agreement that jarrar worked off of to make his translation is here.

there has been some discussion about whether the withdrawal timetable is "binding" or not. but looking at both the translations and the arabic version, it seems rather clear. the section discussing withdrawal of u.s. forces is article 24. from the mcclatchy translation:
All U.S. forces are to withdraw from all Iraqi territory, water and airspace no later than the 31st of December of 2011.
from the jarrar translation:
All U.S. forces must withdraw from all Iraqi territories no later than December 31st 2011.
from the arabic original:

يجب ان تنسحب جميع قوات الولايات المتحدة من جميع الاراضي العراقية في موعد لا يتعدى 31 ديسمبر/كانون الاول عام 2011 ميلادي

i'm not sure where mcclatchy got the words "water and airspace" in their translation, which makes me wonder whether they are working off of the same arabic document as jarrar. but all three don't leave any wiggle room about the withdrawal deadline. it sure looks mandatory to me.