For a couple of years, I have contributed to the NATO Legal Advisors Course at NATO School Oberammergau. In the past, I spoke about the European Union's practice in the field of status of forces agreements and the application of the rules of international responsibility to NATO. This year, my brief was to place the NATO Status of Forces Agreement of 1951 into its broader context by providing an overview of the legal framework governing the status of foreign armed forces in international law. In doing so, my aim was to dispell two persisent myths: first, that the so-called 'law of the flag' principle represents the traditional position of international law in this area and, second, that in the absence of status of forces agreements, soldiers enjoy the same legal position as tourists. In this post, I briefly explain why both of these assumptions are wrong.