Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Trump Eyes Fund for Guantanamo Upgrade | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55369724

Chain link fence and concertina wire surrounds a deserted guard tower within Joint Task Force Guantanamo’s Camp Delta at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Washington- US President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that the Guantanamo Bay prison will not be shut down and reiterated over the weekend a campaign pledge for putting ISIS “bad dudes” in the detention center in Cuba.

Reuters news agency said that Trump is asking Congress to give the Pentagon about $2 billion for a “flexible” fund to use against ISIS over the next six months.

Trump is also seeking to upgrade long-underfunded facilities at the US military’s Guantanamo Bay detention center that Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, unsuccessfully sought to close during his eight-year administration.

“It doesn’t seem like we are going to close it anytime soon,” John Roth, the acting Pentagon comptroller, told a Pentagon news briefing, explaining the move.

The proposals were part of a $30 billion supplemental request to Congress to add more money to the Pentagon’s budget during the government’s ongoing fiscal year, which began under the Obama administration and ends in September.

Todd Harrison at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington questioned whether Trump’s budget wish list could muster enough support among Democrats, whose votes would be needed to sign off on the spending bills given the slim Republican hold on the Senate.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he advised the Us president to send newly captured terrorism suspects to Guantanamo, which he called “a very fine place.”

“There’s plenty of space,” Sessions said of the prison.

“We are well equipped for it. It’s a perfect place for it. Eventually, this will be decided by the military rather than the Justice Department. But I see no legal problem whatsoever with doing that,” he added.