Obama's plan to close Guantanamo

Obama's plan to close Guantanamo

Much of what made Obama’s first Presidential campaign successful was the unpopular public view of George Bush’s policies. In particular, the American public wanted an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To a lesser, but still significant extent, many also wanted the military prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. The concerns are that suspects held in this location are not given due process, and aside from ethical ramifications, this can be used as a negative point towards America that emboldens terrorist recruitment. Obama ran on this closing as one of his major initiatives, but it’s proven hard to do.

 

In an effort to address this promise in his final year in office, Obama proposed a plan that was soundly rejected by Republicans in congress and some Democrats as well. The central strategy is to transfer a handful of these prisoners to a jail on domestic soil, while sending the others to facilities in different countries.

 

Republicans are against the idea, and most still support Guantanamo for purposes of national security. On the Democratic side, some politicians do not want to accept this level of prisoner to jails in their state. In a show of bipartisanship, John McCain supported shutting down Guantanamo. The Pentagon also said the shutdown would save American taxpayers approximately $85 million per year.

 

Given that Obama’s plan is very unlikely to receive any traction; this is an issue that will be passed along to the next President to manage. In all likelihood, Obama’s addressing Guantanamo was for the purpose of showing he wants to fulfill his campaign promise, but knows he can’t due to the current political climate.

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