Some eight years into President Obama’s pledge to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay by the end of 2009, the Navy has appointed Rear Admiral Edward Cashman in charge of the prison. He will be the ninth commander appointed by Obama since the “closure” was announced.
Cashman will be in charge of the facility as of early next year, making him the first commander under President-elect Donald Trump. This means he may well be overseeing the expansion of the facility, as during the campaign Trump talked up the idea of expanding the site and “filling it up.”
Though President Obama largely abandoned his promise to close the facility almost immediately after taking office, he did shrink the number of detainees there. Pentagon officials have warned the detention center is in increasingly dire condition, and have talked about building new facilities on the site.
There is little clarity on who Trump intends to put into Gitmo when he comes into office, nor is it clear what the reaction of Congress will be. While Congress has heavily resisted closing Guantanamo Bay, it’s not at all certain that they’re on board for a major increase in its size and profile.