Amendment Prioritizes Legal Protections for Troops Abroad
WASHINGTON – The Senate adopted Sen. Mike Lee's (R-UT) amendment to the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which requires the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, to review the ten countries with the largest U.S. armed forces presence and provide an assessment of the protections our servicemembers receive under the bilateral Status of Forces Agreements we hold with each country.
Lt. Ridge Alkonis's tragic experience highlights the potential hardships and heartache that can arise due to the lack of clarity on legal rights and processes under foreign law. In response to such circumstances, the Senate's adoption of Sen. Mike Lee's (R-UT) amendment to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a vital step towards ensuring that our brave men and women in uniform receive the fair and just legal treatment they deserve while serving their country overseas.
On the passage of his amendment, Sen. Lee said, "We have an obligation to ensure our brave men and women in uniform are afforded basic legal protections. This amendment is our commitment to guaranteeing that their legal treatment is fair and just, consistent with the rights they would have under U.S. law. Congress should not allow anything less.”
"The passage of this amendment," Sen. Lee added, "affirms to our troops and their families that Congress is committed to getting our Status of Forces Agreements right. We will continue to address these challenges with our allies, ensuring our agreements provide the fair and just legal treatment our servicemembers deserve."