In addition to transforming the international security environment, international regional stabilization operations, which could pose significant challenges to Allied security, have become one of NATO`s most important peacekeeping missions. Since 1996, when Latvian soldiers first participated in NATO-managed operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia has been involved in all NATO operations in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Latvia participated in the NATO-led international mission in Afghanistan  with a contingent of armed forces, while Latvian civilian experts participated in the reconstruction and stabilization process in Afghanistan. Participation in international operations allows the practical compatibility of Latvia`s national armed forces with those of other Member States to be verified and work experience gained, which is essential for career military personnel. In the meantime, Latvia`s practical participation in NATO operations deserves greater operational efficiency and maximizes Latvia`s political influence over NATO`s decision-making process. 3. The specific functions of the SCR, the practical aspects of the command, control and organization work of the CRS, training, support of the DSS by the host country and the practical aspects of the ownership and use of THE SCR property, the common costs and principles of reimbursement, as well as the establishment of an annual budget and the execution of the audit , the conditions under which assistance is provided are defined in separate agreements between the (national) defence departments of the contracting parties. The SOFA round of agreements is the result of the US and NATO plan to maintain a “continued” presence of US troops in the region to deter possible Russian aggression. The agreement was approved by the Latvian government at a ministerial meeting concluded on 10 January. U.S. personnel do not have full immunity from prosecution in Latvia, since the Attorney General of Latvia could still, if an emergency measure is obtained, charge if such personnel are charged with particularly serious crimes. Secretary of Defense Raimonds Bergmanis and U.S.
Ambassador to Latvia Nancy Bikoff Pettit signed the agreement at a signing ceremony in Riga. Another reason for SOFAs is: “Protect yourself from the fact that U.S. personnel are subject to criminal or civilian systems in the host country. This is important not only to protect the rights of U.S. personnel and justify the U.S. interest in disciplinary authority over its personnel, but also because the U.S. willingness to send troops abroad – and public support for those operations – could suffer significant setbacks if the United States does so.