KABUL - The US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said that the "the war is winding down in Afghanistan and we're having success in defeating al Qaeda core."
Speaking at a White House news conference, Obama said: "we're winding down the war in Afghanistan, we're having success defeating al Qaeda core, and we've kept the pressure up on all these transnational terrorist networks."
"We've transferred detention authority in Afghanistan, the idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who have not been tried that is contrary to who we are, it's contrary to our interests and it needs to stop," Obama said.
Obama also vowed to make a new push to close the Guantanamo detention centre, where about 100 inmates are on hunger strike, saying it was damaging to US interests to keep holding prisoners there in legal limbo.
"I'm going to go back at this, I've asked my team to review everything that's currently being done in Guantanamo, everything that we can do administratively and I'm going to reengage with Congress to try to make the case this is not something that is in the best interest of the American people...and it's not sustainable," he said.
Obama vows to restart efforts to close the Guantanamo detention camp saying it's not necessary to keep America safe.
"It is not a surprise to me that we've got problems in Guantanamo, which is why when I was campaigning in 2007 and 2008 and when I was elected in 2008 I said we need to close Guantanamo. I continue to believe that we've got to close Guantanamo," Obama said.
"I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe. It is expensive, it is inefficient, it hurts us in terms of our international standing, it lessens cooperation with our allies on counter terrorism efforts, it is a recruitment tool for extremists, it needs to be closed," he said.
The human rights groups have long been critical of the 12-year-old camp for foreign terrorism suspects, and their concern has intensified in recent weeks. Some of those on hunger strike are being force-fed at the camp at the US Naval Base in Cuba.
The Guantanamo camp was opened by Obama's Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, to hold foreign terrorism suspects captured overseas after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. (Tolo News)