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Guantanamo Bay, Torture, and Drones: Are We Countering Violent Extremism...or Fueling It?

Twenty years after the tragic events on September 11, 2001, debate persists surrounding the efficacy of U.S. counterterrorism tactics. Some question whether languishing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and civilian casualties from drone strikes abroad contribute to the conditions and narratives that nourish–rather than extinguish–violent extremism. For instance, Faisal Shahzad justified his attempt to bomb Time Square as retribution for U.S. drone warfare in Pakistan. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen are responsible for thousands of civilian deaths–including children. What reforms are needed? Our experts discuss.


  • Michel Paradis, Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School; Senior Attorney, Office of the Chief Defense Counsel, U.S. Department of Defense; Legal Fellow, Center on National Security at Fordham Law
  • Dr. Anouk S. Rigterink, Assistant Professor in Quantitative Comparative Politics, Durham University School of Government and International Affairs
  • Scott Roehm, Washington Director, Center for Victims of Torture; Chair, Board of Directors, Refugee Council USA


  • Engy Abdelkader, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Council Member, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Member, ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice; Fellow, American Bar Foundation


A Social Justice Summit Participant Handbook

Presentation: Dr. Anouk S. Rigterink

Obama's Weak Defense of His Record on Drone Killings | The Atlantic, December 23, 2016

Unmanned: America's Drone Wars, accessible free of cost

ABA Policy Summit Yields Recommendations for Racial Equity and Social Justice →

View the entire A Social Justice Policy Summit: A New Administration >>

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