At a November 26, 2007 press conference on the declaration, General Douglas Lute, presidential assistant for Iraq and Afghanistan, said the government did not foresee a forward-looking agreement with Iraq that „would have formal treaty status that would then lead us to formal negotiations or formal contributions from Congress.“ White House Office of the Press Secretary, Press Gaggle by Dana Perino and General Douglas Lute, Presidential Assistant for Iraq and Afghanistan, 26 November 2007, available from georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2007/11/20071126-6.html. In 1947, the United States and the Republic of the Philippines entered into a military support agreement.99 The agreement had a duration of five years, beginning on July 4, 1946, and provided that the United States would provide military assistance to the Philippines for the training and development of the armed forces. The agreement also established an advisory group to provide advice and support to the Philippines, as approved by the U.S. Congress.100 The agreement was extended for five years in 1953 and amended.101 There are no formal requirements for the form, content, length, or title of a SOFA. A SOFA can be written for a particular purpose or activity, or it can anticipate a longer-term relationship and offer maximum flexibility and applicability. It is usually a separate document that is concluded in the form of an executive agreement. A SOFA can contain many provisions, but the most frequently raised issue is which country can exercise criminal justice over U.S. personnel. Other provisions in a SOFA are not, however, limited to the wearing of uniforms, taxes and fees, the carrying of weapons, the use of radio spectrum, licences and customs provisions. SOFAs are often part, along with other types of military agreements, of a comprehensive security agreement with a given country.
A sofa itself is not a safety device; Rather, it defines the rights and privileges of U.S. personnel who are in a country to support the largest security agreement. SOFAs may, on the basis of powers, be enshrined in previous treaties and congressional actions or as executive agreements only. The United States is currently a party to more than 100 agreements that can be considered SOFAs….