We feel safer already. The United States and our pals in the Netherlands have signed a pact that will allow the U.S. military to continue exercises and other activities in the Netherlands’ Caribbean territories.
Pack your bags for Aruba! Or St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, whichever picturesque destination floats your boat — they’re all covered under the new document.
The obscure-sounding “status-of-forces agreement” (the acronym is fun: SOFA) is one of many such deals that allow U.S. military troops overseas to . . . well, legally be wherever they are. Sharing a SOFA might just be one of the best ways for two countries to get close: “There are few agreements that demonstrate the closeness of diplomatic relations between countries better than a status-of-forces agreement,” Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, said at the signing ceremony.
We’d like to volunteer for service in the region, which the State Department called “strategically important” (but we describe as “primo vacation destination”). Can we get an assignment sometime in January, perhaps? Meanwhile, we’re off to scour this SOFA for provisions on umbrella drinks.