The Syrian city of Raqqa, October 2017.
Erik De Castro / REUTERS

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump vowed to pursue more aggressive detention and interrogation policies for terrorism suspects. He supported sending detainees to Guantánamo Bay (“We’re gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me”) and torturing suspects (“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work—torture works”). Yet for all of Trump’s bluster, his administration’s actions on those matters have proved decidedly modest. For example, an executive order signed by Trump in January generally preserved the status quo for the 41 foreign citizens still in U.S. military custody at Guantánamo, none of whom were sent there by Trump. For better or worse, the Trump administration has shown little interest in pushing the boundaries of who may be held, and under what conditions, in conjunction with the ongoing armed conflict between the United States and al Qaeda and its affiliates.

Yet despite the administration’

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