The ISAF legal office has published an online update and Fact Sheet on the Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO SOFA as it applies to contractors.
"Office of Legal Advisor gives update on BAS, NATO SOFA implementation", ISAF News, December 19, 2014.
ISAF / USFOR-A BAS/SOFA FAQs (Dec 14, 2014).
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Saturday, November 29, 2014
The upper house (Senate) of the Afghan parliament has approved the bilateral security agreement with the United States and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with NATO. Only 7 lawmakers out of a total of 102 voted against the approval. Read more in "Afghan Senate Approves Security Agreements with U.S., NATO", Radio Free Europe, November 29, 2014. The NATO Secretary General seemed happy with the news - see a press release dated November 27, 2014.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Wolesi Jirga (lower house of Afghan parliament) voted its approval of the Bilateral Security Agreement and the NATO SOFA. The Afghan Senate (upper house of the Afghan parliament) still has yet to give its approval; although it is expected. While the votes are there (parliament approval) there are still significant factions within parliament and the Afghan government that oppose the continued presence of the United States military and its Coalition partners. Read more in a new analysis by the Afghanistan Analysts Network (November 24, 2014).
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Nearly everyone is tracking that the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was signed by representatives of the Afghan government and the United States. This set the stage for the Coalition to keep a residual force in Afghanistan beyond December 2014 to conduct the Resolute Support mission - Security Force Assistance and Counter-terrorism. However, less people are aware that concurrent to the signing of the BSA there was a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed between Afghanistan and NATO. The long title of the SOFA is "Agreement Between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on the Status of NATO Forces and NATO Personnel Conducting Mutually Agreed NATO-Led Activities in Afghanistan". You can read or download a copy of the NATO SOFA on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.
Friday, November 21, 2014
The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and the NATO Status of Forces Agreement will cover the military personnel who will work in Afghanistan post-December 2014. Essentially, the military will have immunity from prosecution by the corrupt Afghan judicial system. Not so much for contractors. Contractors will be subject to Afghan criminal and civil jurisdiction while operating in Afghanistan. Contractor employees may only carry weapons in accordance with Afghan laws and regulations. All contractors will be required to have passports and visas to enter and exit Afghanistan The two links below will bring you to more information released by ISAF on November 17, 2014.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that has not yet been signed by President Karzai. The BSA is a security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan. However, NATO has stated that NATO will not execute the Resolute Support mission if the BSA is not signed by Afghanistan. The signing of both agreements is a requirement for the stationing of 16,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan to conduct the Security Force Assistance mission. Read more on this topic in "NATO Head: Afghan Security Pact After Elections", Associated Press, February 20, 2014.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
The Pentagon Press Secretary provided a statement on NATO beginning the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) negotiations with the government of Afghanistan.
“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was pleased to learn that NATO has begun negotiations with the Government of Afghanistan on the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
“NATO's decision to move forward with negotiations on a SOFA is yet another demonstration of the international community's willingness to support Afghanistan after 2014.
“But, as both the NATO Secretary General and Secretary Hagel have made clear, the Alliance won't finalize their agreement with the Bilateral Security Agreement still hanging in the balance. The message of the United States and its allies in Europe is clear: the Bilateral Security Agreement should be signed without any more delay.”
The news release can be read at the link below: