Interesting to note that the election of Barack Obama has not changed all Iraqi parties’ views on the U.S.-Iraq SOFA. Say what you want about Moqtada al-Sadr, but the guy has been remarkably consistent. Who knows? He might even turn out to be right.
Meanwhile, as Al-Jazeera reports, the U.S. has returned the SOFA to Iraq with some — but not all — of the revisions requested by Baghdad now written into the document. One thing that I hadn’t realized is that, with all the talk of a firm withdrawal by 2011, the document now requires American forces to withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 2009. So we’re essentially looking at a withdrawal with shortterm residual basing to guarantee security advances and counterterrorism operations. Sounds like a plan everyone should be able to live with. Except the Sadrists, that is.