SOFAs generally do not authorize specific military operations or missions by U.S. forces. While SOFAs generally offer no combat power, the inherent right to self-defense is not affected or reduced. U.S. personnel always have the right to defend themselves when threatened or attacked, and a SOFA does not take this right.32 Language is often found in sofa which defines the extent of the applicability of the agreement. For example, SOFA with Belize specifically applies to U.S. personnel “who may temporarily reside in Belize in connection with military exercises and training, drug control activities, U.S. security programs or other agreed purposes.” 33 The United States had previously entered into two separate agreements with Belize on military training and the provision of defence items.34 SOFA itself does not authorize specific operations, exercises or activities, but contains provisions relating to the legal status and protection of U.S. personnel during its existence in Belize. In accordance with the provisions of the agreement, U.S. personnel obtain legal protection, as if they are the administrative and technical staff of the U.S.
Embassy.35 In any discussion of SOFAs, it must be observed that there are at least 10 agreements that are currently classified documents. The agreements are classified for national security reasons. They are not covered in this report. In 1954, the United States and the Republic of Korea concluded a mutual defence treaty.86 As part of the treaty, countries agree to try to resolve international disputes peacefully, to consult with them whenever the political independence or security of one of the three armed attacks is threatened, and that each party would act to deal with the common danger in accordance with its respective constitutional processes.87 Article IV of the treaty “confers law on the United States” … 88 Under the Treaty, including Article IV, countries concluded a SOFA in 1966 containing protocols and an exchange of agreed notes; it was amended on January 18, 2001. Existing treaties, a list of treaties and other international agreements of the United States in force. Established by the State Department to provide information on international treaties and other agreements to which the United States is a party and which have been in effect in State Department files since November 1, 2007. Available at www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/treaties/2007/index.htm.