Re-embracing the Wartime Detention Mission
4 No. 1 Fletcher Security Review 171 (2017)
5 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2017 Last revised: 22 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 17, 2017
President Donald Trump has made clear his intent to utilize wartime detention in the fight against al-Qa’ida and ISIS. If done correctly this could be a positive development in the United States’ evolving approach to the war against al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and their associates, so long as it is coupled with a commitment to continuing key detention policies and humane treatment standards developed over the past fifteen years. In recent years, the United States has largely avoided adding to the detainee population at Guantanamo (GTMO) – mainly in reaction to some of the more infamous excesses from the first couple of years after the attacks on September 11, 2001. But failing to capture new enemy fighters has come with an operational and humanitarian cost. The United States should take the opportunity that comes with political transition to re-embrace the wartime detention mission.
Keywords: detention, Guantanamo, detainee, wartime, law of armed conflict, interrogation
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