Latest in Detention: Operations in Afghanistan

Detention & Guantanamo

Afghanistan May Release Hundreds of Detainees Transferred from US Military Custody

The unwinding of US detention operations in Afghanistan continues.   The latest development concerns the population of some 880 Afghan detainees whom the United States has transferred to Afghan control as part of the drawdown process (the United States continue to hold a smaller population of non-Afghan detainees, the long-term disposition plan for which is unclear to say the least).

The decision to turn these men over to Afghan custody appeared at the time to be premised in part on the understanding that Afghanistan would be willing to employ non-criminal, law of war-based detention

Detention: Operations in Afghanistan

On the Legal Consequences of Moving Away from the Armed-Conflict Model of Counterterrorism

When it comes to detention and drone strikes, both critics and supporters of the status quo assume that abandoning the armed-conflict model would have not just diplomatic and legal effects but also a significant legal effect.  Critics bank on it, supporters fear it.  But what if their common assumption is wrong?  It's a question I address in a short piece this morning at Security States (a joint online project of Lawfare and The New Republic), titled "

Detention: Operations in Afghanistan

Oral Argument Preview: The Bagram Habeas Petitions

The question before a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Tuesday morning: can a group of detainees held by the United States at Bagram airfield, in Afghanistan, challenge their detentions by petitioning for writs of habeas corpus?   It is presented in three cases, Al Maqaleh, Amanatullah, and Hamidullah, all of which were dismissed by District Court judges in 2012 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Detention: Operations in Afghanistan

The Lingering Problem of the Lingering Detainee Population Under US Control in Afghanistan

An article in the Washington Post today draws attention, once more (see here, for example), to the lingering question of what will become of the lingering population of detainees (all non-Afghans) remaining in US custody in Afghanistan.  Nothing new to report so far as I can tell, alas, other than the rather interesting fact that General Dunford has in

Detention: Law of

Eight Thoughts on the Broad Reading of Article II Inherent in Bobby’s Conjecture

Bobby’s post from Friday argued that “the current shadow war approach to counterterrorism doesn’t really require an armed-conflict predicate–or an AUMF, for that matter.”  Bobby’s point is that most if not all of the USG’s current uses of force outside Afghanistan could in theory continue even if the armed conflict against al Qaeda ended.  This is because, as Bobby says, the administration’s “imminent threat” constraint outside hot battlefields – which has allowed quite a lot of lethal force to be used in many nations – “is at le

Detention: Operations in Afghanistan

Does the Armed-Conflict Model Matter in Practice Anymore?

This post draws on material from my current book project, the concluding chapter of which considers the legal architecture of counterterrorism in a "postwar" setting...and advances the argument that we already have largely crossed into that world. 

In yesterday's speech, President Obama repeatedly referred to the possibility that the armed conflict with al Qaeda may end, and indeed that it must and should end lest we find ourselves in a perpetual state of war.  It is the same perspective prev

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