SOFA Study

By Christopher J. Castelli / September 23, 2013 at 8:06 PM

U.S. officials have launched a new study on the "strategies for and challenges to" American efforts to negotiate status of forces agreements (SOFAs), according to a memo obtained by Such agreements -- the United States is party to more than 100 -- define the legal status of Defense Department personnel and property on foreign soil and lay out rights and responsibilities between the United States and the host government.

The Aug. 23 memo, prepared by acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller for the International Security Advisory Board, states the review will examine the results and status of recent SOFA efforts; the "widening gap" between provisions desired by DOD and what host nations are willing to provide; host-nation perspectives on as well as objections to U.S. SOFAs, and improved strategies for negotiating future SOFAs. The board, led by former Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO), is due to complete its assessment by June 2014.