The SOFA Opportunity

Dr. Irak notes that the continued wrangling over SOFA/SFA issues in Iraq is actually a huge opportunity for the United States to get our Iraq policy sorted out. In particular, with Iraq hinting that they may want the agreement to include a timeline for withdrawal, but also indicating that they would like continued military support of some kind from the United States, the administration is in a position where it "can put a time horizon into the pact and condition the residual support the Iraqi government dearly wants on continued political progress to lock-in recent security gains."

A deal of that sort would serve American interests fairly well and also have the odd consequence of largely defusing the Iraq issue in the presidential campaign. But I see no indication that Bush or McCain are prepared to settle for anything less than open-ended war for open-ended occupation with all kinds of sovereign-infringing immunities for foreign troops and no real dates whatsoever.