SOFA NegotiationsNegotiations between the U.S. and Iraq for a new SOFA began in fall 2010. There were late-night meetings at the fortified compound of then Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, and in video conferences between Baghdad and Washington. In June 2011, diplomats and Iraqi officials said that President Obama had told Prime Minister Maliki that he was prepared to leave up to 10,000 soldiers to continue training and equipping the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Mr. Maliki agreed, but said he needed time to line up political allies. Eventually, he gained authorization to continue talks with the U.S. on keeping troops in Iraq.
In August 2011, after debates between the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House, the U.S. settled on the 3,000 to 5,000 troop number. An American official said intelligence assessments stated that Iraq was not at great risk of slipping into chaos in the absence of American forces, which was a factor in the decision.
In October 2011, American officials pressed Iraqi leadership to meet again at President Talabani’s compound to discuss the issue. This time the U.S. asked Iraq to take a stand on the question of immunity for troops, hoping to remove what had always been the biggest challenge. However, they misread Iraqi politics and the Iraqi public. Having watched the Arab Spring sweep across the region and still haunted by the traumas of this and previous wars, the Iraqis were unwilling to accept anything that infringed on their sovereignty.
Iraqi leadership picked up on that sentiment quickly. As a result, they publicly said they would not support legal immunity for any American troops. Some American officials have privately said that pushing for that meeting — in essence forcing the Iraqis to take a public stand on such a controversial matter before working out the politics of presenting it to their constituents and to Parliament — was a severe tactical mistake that ended any possibility of keeping American troops past December 2011.
After the pull out was announced, White House aides said the U.S. would keep its embassy in Baghdad and two consulates. They also said there will be about 4,000-5,000 defense contractors.
this article came from wicipetia, the other from time magazine
Last edited by fonz1951 on Fri 27 Mar 2015, 2:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added source.)