From Ludecke to Boumediene: A Path to Habeas for Bagram Detainees?

“Whether and when it would be open to this Court to find that a war though merely formally kept alive had in fact ended, is a question too fraught with gravity even to be adequately formulated when not compelled.” Justice Frankfurter, Ludecke v. Watkins, 335 U.S. 160, 169 (1948).

In light of the Global War on Terror, the fate of the 66[1] foreign nationals detained in U.S. custody at Bagram is a veritable dark cloud hanging over American foreign policy.  Their <Read More>


Afghanistan’s Consultative Loya Jirga

On Thursday, November 21, 2013, a council of roughly 3,000[1] Afghan tribal elders, civic leaders and other prominent figures gathered to debate the draft bilateral security agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and the United States. The council, referred to as a loya jirga (which means “grand council” in Pashto), was called by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss and advise on the terms of the security pact.  By the end of the four-day convention, the vast majority of the Jirga voted <Read More>


What Specific Security Assurances Does the Obama Administration Want?

Persons detained by the U.S. at the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), also known as Bagram, may pose a continuing threat to our security. But the nature of that threat, and how the U.S. plans to mitigate it past 2014, are unknown. Before the U.S. repatriates detainees, it requires security assurances from the host nation. The specifics of the security assurances are largely unknown, and likely changing. But they may be a deciding factor in determining whether the U.S. is <Read More>


The Lucrative Bounty Program

In an effort to capture enemy combatants during the War on Terror the United States implemented a bounty program offering monetary rewards for information on, or the surrender of, possible enemy combatants. The bounty system has been beneficial in bringing forward actionable information against enemy combatants because it has functioned as a strong motivator, but that may also have led to the detention of innocent civilians at both Guantanamo Bay and Bagram Airbase. Turning over individuals to U.S. troops was <Read More>


Recidivism and Detention in Afghanistan

Since the War on Terror began in 2001, the U.S. has detained thousands of people in connection with terrorism. The targets of the war include “persons who were part of, or substantially supported, Taliban or al-Qaida forces or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act, or has directly supported hostilities, in aid of such enemy armed forces.”[1] This criterion is used to assess <Read More>