The US-Greece Status of Forces Agreement: What Does It Mean?

In the world of international relations, Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs) serve as the legal foundation for the presence of foreign military forces in a host country. Recently, the United States and Greece signed a new SOFA that is expected to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

So, what exactly is the US-Greece SOFA, and what does it mean for both nations?


The United States has a long history of military cooperation with Greece, dating back to the end of World War II. The two countries are NATO allies, and American military bases in Greece have served as important strategic assets for the United States, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean.

However, the previous SOFA between the US and Greece, which had been in place since 1990, was outdated and in need of revision. Negotiations for a new agreement began in 2019, and the final text was signed in October 2020.

Key Provisions

The new SOFA includes a number of important provisions that will strengthen the US-Greece partnership. Some of the key provisions include:

– Expanded access to military installations: The agreement allows for US military personnel to have access to Greek military installations, and vice versa. This will facilitate joint training exercises and other cooperative activities.

– Legal protections for US military personnel: The SOFA provides legal protections for US military personnel in Greece, such as immunity from prosecution by Greek authorities for acts committed in the course of their duties.

– Environmental protections: The agreement includes provisions to ensure that both countries comply with environmental regulations and engage in environmentally responsible practices.

– Enhanced cooperation in border security: The SOFA also includes provisions to enhance cooperation between the US and Greece in border security, particularly with regard to maritime security.


The new SOFA represents a significant step forward in the US-Greece relationship, as it will facilitate greater military cooperation and coordination between the two countries. This will benefit both nations in a number of ways, such as:

– Strengthening regional security: The US-Greece partnership is an important component of the broader US strategy in the eastern Mediterranean. The new SOFA will help to ensure that both countries are better able to address common security challenges in the region.

– Enhancing military readiness: By increasing access to each other`s military facilities, the US and Greece will be able to conduct more joint exercises and training, which will enhance the readiness of both militaries.

– Deepening economic ties: The SOFA is expected to have positive economic implications for both countries, as it will facilitate greater cooperation in a number of areas, including defense procurement and research and development.


The US-Greece SOFA represents an important milestone in the long-standing partnership between the two countries. By facilitating greater military cooperation and coordination, the agreement will help to strengthen regional security, enhance military readiness, and deepen economic ties. It is a good example of how SOFAs can serve as a foundation for positive international relations, and demonstrates the power of partnerships between nations.