THE NATION: The GIrard Case

In the inevitable involvement of its military strength and influence in the everyday life of the free world, the U.S. has long sought to define a legal relationship between the rights of American servicemen stationed abroad and the inherent rights of allied nations. The U.S.'s principal instrument: a worldwide network of more than 40 "status-of-forces agreements" designed to legalize the status of 700,000 U.S. servicemen in friendly countries. The status-of-forces agreements—roughly granting to U.S. military courts the right to try G.I.s for on-duty offenses, granting to the host country jurisdiction over off-duty offenses—have worked out in a way that...

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