Lawyers for two Guantanamo Bay detainees have began arguing that President Biden’s “end” to the war in Afghanistan means their clients can no longer legally be detained and can return to their home country. Granted, the circumstances for the latter of these two detainments seem to be unclear. Regardless, this marks the beginning of the legal ramifications of President Biden’s symbolic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I can’t stress the word “symbolic” enough. A Pentagon spokesperson stated: “We are still going to maintain counterterrorism capabilities in the region,” he said. “And we will still be able to strike at terrorist threats in Afghanistan even if we don’t have boots on the ground.” Additionally, I am familiar with people who are slated to deploy to Afghanistan later this year. In short, I don’t believe that this is the end of “the forever war” nor do I think it anything more than a bipartisan political scheme to show the American people something is being done in Afghanistan. I believe war will continue through different means, and eventually the U.S. will return, if we ever leave at all. As for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, I believe the best solution is to deem the war ongoing and remove any legal argument from their lawyers arsenal. Entertaining legal disputes with even two terrorists will open the flood gates for however 50+ remain.

Cameron W