The Iraqi parliament on Thursday approved an agreement for U.S. forces to remain in the country until January 1, 2012. The pact was agreed to by 144 members out of the 198 members-present of the 275-member assembly. It was one of President Bush’s goals to secure a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) before he left office. The agreement has been supported by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Where this leaves Barack Obama is unclear. He has pledged to withdraw U.S. forces within 16 months. In July, Maliki suggested that he backed Obama’s proposal. But Obama may be bound to the SOFA engineered by Bush.