Eric Posner on the Need for Guantánamo

The U.S. Needs Guantánamo
Eric A. Posner
The New York Times
January 9, 2012

There is nothing wrong with Guantánamo. The United States is almost continuously at war with other countries and groups like Al Qaeda, and it needs some place to house prisoners picked up on the battlefield. If Guantánamo were closed, the U.S. military would need to hold those prisoners someplace else.

To be sure, there are other options. Detainees could be placed in prison camps on foreign territory controlled by the U.S. military, where they lack access to U.S. courts and security is less certain. More than a thousand detainees are currently held at Bagram, in Afghanistan. Detainees could be turned over to foreign governments, where they are likely to be tortured. The Clinton administration took this approach. Or suspected terrorists could be killed with drone strikes rather than captured — which seems to be the de facto tactic of the Obama administration. For those who care about human rights, these options are hardly preferable to Guantánamo Bay.

Eric Posner