About Those SOFA Negotiations
Posted by Michael Cohen
Apparently the one area of agreement in the SOFA negotiations is revoking legal immunity for private security contractors from Iraqi law. It's not a good idea. In today's WSJ I try to explain why:
Nearly a year after the tragic shooting of 17 Iraqis by Blackwater security contractors, the Department of Justice is close to indicting six of the guards involved in the horrific events. This is a long overdue step toward holding contractors legally responsible for their actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But this positive move risks being overshadowed by a more destabilizing development: the apparent agreement, as part of U.S.-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement negotiations, to revoke the immunity from Iraqi law that private security contractors have enjoyed since 2003. This decision could place diplomats, Iraqi civilians and PSCs at greater risk, and undermine the U.S. mission in Iraq. More must be done to hold security contractors accountable for their actions -- but this is not the way to do it.
Read the whole piece here: