Artifact 1: US soldiers in Iraq and immunity from prosecution
One of the sticking points in the negotiations with Iraq was a US demand that American forces remaining in the country after December would enjoy the same immunity from prosecution as they do now. The Iraqi government, conscious of public anger over many controversial incidents involving US troops and defence contractors over the last decade, refused.
Artifact 2: US soldiers in South Korea and immunity from prosecution
Still, attitudes toward the 28,500 U.S. servicemen and women stationed in South Korea have deteriorated. Many residents call for the South Korean government to end its diplomatic agreement that allows for the U.S. troop presence, claiming that they’re more afraid of the U.S. military peacekeepers than the North Korean regime they are supposed to be protected them from.
Seoul dance clubs once frequented by U.S. military now bar admission to American soldiers after concern expressed by female patrons, according to local press reports here. South Korea also created a task force to seek revisions to the Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, that governs the legal status of U.S. troops in South Korea and elsewhere.
Activists here say that the SOFA, signed in 1965 and amended in 1995 and 2001, is unjust because it goes too far in protecting U.S. soldiers. Many want the police here to be given more legal jurisdiction to investigate sex crimes involving American soldiers.