US President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address in Washington DC on Tuesday and said US forces and their Afghan counterparts will engage in the war in the country with new rules and regulations.

Trump delivered his State of the Union address in Washington DC on Tuesday and said he had signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba open.

This decision is a reversal of his predecessor president Barack Obama’s policy.

“Today I’m keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary (James) Mattis… to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay,” Trump said in his speech.

“I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS (Daesh) and al-Qaeda, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists – wherever we chase them down.”

“Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we annihilate them. When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them. But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.”

Trump said: “In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield – including the ISIS (Daesh) leader, al-Baghdadi.”

He said the US troops in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. “Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans,” he said.

Trump did not however mention Pakistan in his speech despite the Trump administration announcing earlier this month that it would withhold $255 million USD in aid to Pakistan, based on the perception that the country was harboring terrorists.

Under former president George W. Bush, the US military hastily constructed a prison camp on Guantanamo Bay, located on the US naval base on the eastern tip of Cuba, in the months following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

At first, inmates were held in cages and fenced in with razor wire, and conditions for them provoked a global outcry in 2002.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani has said that government will take revenge from insurgents for the recent attacks – which killed close to 150 dead and hundreds more wounded.

“This kind of killing is against Islamic principles and humanity and Afghan culture. Revenge is the order of Allah and we will take revenge,” said Ghani on Tuesday.

Ghani’s statement on avenging the deaths apparently includes the execution of terrorists in the custody of the Afghan government.

“The issue of execution is on the table, undoubtedly, our security forces will also take revenge for our people against the terrorists,” said Jawed Faisal, deputy CEO spokesman.

“The law must be implemented and those who committed bad deeds must be served severe punishments,” said military analyst Mia Gul Wasiq.

It is believed that the cases of over 600 terrorists, including those on death row, are on the president’s desk at the moment.

Sources in the presidential palace have confirmed that government is planning to execute a number of insurgents in its custody. However these sources have not given details.

This piece originally appeared in TOLO News on January 31, 2018. Original link.

Disclaimer: Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily endorsed or supported by the Center for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad.

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