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January 20, 2017

The Cost of Guantanamo

Total Guantanamo Bay Prison Facility Costs

  • Cost of Guantanamo prison facility up to the end of 2015: $5.687 billion
  • Cost for 2015: $445 million
  • Not included in above costs:
    • Cost of camp headquarters, built in 2004: $13.5 million
    • Cost of Camp 7 (for “high-value” detainees): Classified
    • Cost of Justice Department, FBI, and CIA involvement in detention operations: Unknown

2014 Costs

  • Money appropriated by Congress for un-built fiber-optic cable: $31 million
  • U.S. Army costs for operations and maintenance, including contract intelligence analysts, librarians and linguists: $61.5 million
  • U.S. Navy costs for detainee operations security: $46.5 million
  • Money paid to Naval Base Guantanamo: $67.4 million
  • Military Commissions complex, including security, translation, flights from DC: $121.8 million
  • Review boards for Guantanamo detainees not cleared for release: $15.1 million

Guantanamo Prison Compared to U.S. Federal Prison

  • Annual cost per detainee at Guantanamo: More than $10 million
  • Annual cost per prisoner at federal Supermax prison (Florence, CO): $78,000
  • Annual cost per prisoner at federal maximum security prison: $34,046
  • Annual cost savings of moving detainees to U.S. prison according to Defense Department plan to close Guantanamo: $65-85 million



Carol Rosenberg, “Total U.S. tab tops $5B for Guantánamo prison,” The Miami Herald, July 30, 2013: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article1953705.html

Carol Rosenberg, "Texas firm wins $3.1M contract to lay fiber-optic cable to Guantanamo," The Miami Herald, May 15, 2014: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article1964511.html

Representative Adam Smith, Statement at Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on “Closing Guantanamo: The National Security, Fiscal, and Human Rights Implication,” July 24, 2013: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/7-24-13SmithTestimony.pdf 

Department of Defense Guantanamo Cost Data, June 17, 2013: http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/uploads/pdfs/Costs-DOD-GTMO-Data-Response-to-Congressional-Ltr-61713.pdf

Department of Defense GTMO Facility Costs, December 7, 2014: http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/sites/default/files/Feinstein-DOD-Guantanamo-Costs-01-Dec-14.pdf.  

Department of Defense Plan for Closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, February 2016: http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/GTMO_Closure_Plan_0216.pdf.