They're a modern day version of 19th century China's "extraterritoriality" agreements. They granted foreigners charged with crimes the "right" to be tried by his (or her) own government under his (or her) own national law.
Most SOFAs prevent local courts from exercising legal jurisdiction over American personnel. Even those committing murder and rape are exempt unless US officials yield to local authorities. Usually, offenders are whisked out of countries before they ask.
America's total number of SOFAs is unknown. Most are secret. Some are too embarrassing to reveal. America has hundreds of known, shared, and secret bases in over 150 countries.
Johnson said they "usurp, distort, or subvert whatever institutions of democratic (or other form of) government may exist with the host society."
Their presence assures trouble. It includes murder, rape, theft, drunken driving, and other crimes. Locals also face unacceptable noise, pollution, environmental destruction, appropriated public land, and US personnel mindless of local laws, customs, and rights of ordinary people.
Locals lose control of their lives. They have no say. They have virtually no chance for redress. They're most harmed when occupations are permanent.
Besides elsewhere, America came to Iraq and Afghanistan to stay. Permanency is planned on city-sized super bases. They're not build to be abandoned.
They have extensive infrastructure, command and control centers, accommodations for families in combat-free areas, hospitals, schools, recreational facilities, and virtually everything found back home.
In early 2011, Afghan puppet leader Karzai confirmed Washington's plan to stay, despite agreeing on a "transition strategy" to transfer control to Afghan forces by 2014.
US troop withdrawals are planned. Iraq numbers were reduced. Thousands will remain in both countries. Locals have no sovereignty. America stays in control. Drone and ground force killing will continue.
Tens of thousands of private military contractors supplement military forces. Their skills range from technical to hired guns like Blackwater (now called Academi) and DynCorp.
Last year, Obama said US troop drawdowns will exit thousands. Afghan forces will replace them. America's mission will shift from "combat to support. By 2014, this process of transition will be complete...."
False! US permanency is planned. November elections drive Obama's duplicity to say one thing and plan another. During an unannounced Kabul visit, he addressed a US television audience from Bagram Air Base.
He did what he does best. He lied, saying he came to Kabul to herald a new era in US/Afghanistan relations. He called it "future in which war ends, and a new chapter begins."
Unless America's occupation ends, war will continue for years. Election year politics explains his claim about US forces out by 2014. He lied saying:
"My fellow Americans, we've traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of new day on the horizon."