Leaving Guantanamo: Policies, Pressures, and Detainees Returning to the Fight

Leaving Guantanamo: Policies, Pressures, and Detainees Returning to the Fight
Leaving Guantanamo: Policies, Pressures, and Detainees Returning to the Fight
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Published by the House Committee on Armed Services, this publication handles a complex topic in a straightforward way. It shows that the Guantanamo Bay detainee challenge started in 2002 when the facility was established, it provides information about both current and former detainees and it points out the difficulties of transferring or keeping prisoners there, and recommends further study of the factors that cause or contribute to former detainees becoming engaged in terrorist activities after they have been released from Guantanamo Bay. HASC Committee Print 112-4. H.A.S.C.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

02 Executive Summary and Introduction

04 Methodological and Stylistic Notes

06 Snapshots of Reengagement

10 Reengagement: The Basics

13 Definitions

16 Finding 1: Mechanisms to reduce the GTMO population were first

contemplated when the facility was established in 2002. However,

procedures to accomplish this took about eight months to finalize,

and were spurred by persistent concerns that some detainees should

not be held.

23 Finding 2: After the first review process began, political and

diplomatic pressures to reduce the GTMO population arose, resulting

in releases and transfers.

27 Russia

31 Foreign Prosecution

33 Pakistan

34 Saudi Rehabilitation Program

42 Finding 3: Pressure to reduce the GTMO population accelerated

in the second Bush term, before reengagement dangers became

fully apparent.

50 Success Story?

57 Litigation Pressures

64 Finding 4: While the GTMO transfer and release process instituted

by the Obama administration differed in some important respects

from what preceded it, there are sufficient continuities so that the

threat of reengagement may not be lessened in the long term.

74 Conclusion and Recommendations

76 Dissenting Views

86 Appendix

Classified Annex [Under Separate cover]


This publication would be useful to the military's analysis community, civilian leaders, military commanders and staff officers at all levels, policymakers, members of government and defense agencies/contractors, and members of military-focused committees.  This publication would also be useful to historians and students engaged with historical/political/military studies.


Selected as Library Journal's 2012 Notable Government Documents

"In 2011, committee staff undertook a comprehensive, bipartisan assessment of the Guantanamo detainee release program. In the process, they consulted senior officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations and experts (including former detainees), received briefings from the Department of Defense and the State Department, and reviewed thousands of pages of documents. The report documents a high (27 percent) and increasing rate of released detainees re-engaging in acts of terrorism."


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Senate, Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Key Phrases:
  • Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp
  • Prisoners of War
  • Detainees
  • Afghan War, 2001 -
  • Iraq War
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