Lawfare and Counterlawfare: The Demonization of the Gitmo Bar and Other Legal Strategies in the War on Terror

22 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2012

See all articles by David Frakt

David Frakt

US Air Force JAG Corps Reserve

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

If “lawfare” is “the wrongful manipulation of the law and legal systems by our enemies to achieve strategic military or political ends” against the United States and other democratic allies, then the United States needs a “counterlawfare” strategy in response. This article proposes and defines the term counterlawfare as “defensive measures to reduce vulnerabilities to the enemy‟s use of lawfare and actions to contain and minimize the effectiveness of lawfare, including, but not limited to: preparing the legal battlespace; denying, disrupting, and degrading the enemy‟s ability to use lawfare; and delegitimizing the enemy‟s lawfare efforts” and uses the concept to analyze the Bush Administration legal strategies in the war on terror. The article analyzes several specific legal actions, including the efforts to discredit and malign attorneys who represented Guantánamo detainees, which attacks have continued to come from defenders of Bush-era policies.

Keywords: lawfare, counterlawfare, Guantanamo, Gitmo bar

Suggested Citation

Frakt, David, Lawfare and Counterlawfare: The Demonization of the Gitmo Bar and Other Legal Strategies in the War on Terror (2010). Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 43, p. 355, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2103808

David Frakt (Contact Author)

US Air Force JAG Corps Reserve ( email )

United States

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