Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bad Mistake: Gates and SOFAs

Reading Mr. Gates' memoir, Duty.  He talks about negotiating a status of forces agreement with Iraq and making a very bad mistake:  tell the Iraqis to go talk to the other nations with which the US has status of force agreements. 

What could go wrong with that?  Surely everyone is happy to have US soldiers on their land, aren't they?

No--everyone the Iraqis talked with complained about the behavior of US troops and the aggravations of their sofas  SOFAs.

Just a reminder of how a smart man, surrounded by smart people, who spent his career trying to understand other nations, could lapse into self-satisfied smugness about American virtue.

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