Going back to a pledge he made during his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama will try to persuade Congress to close the Guantanamo detention centre.
The US president has failed to make good on his 2008 promise to shut down the facility.
Many of the 166 inmates have never been tried or charged.
“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,” said Obama.
The spotlight is back on the controversial detention centre because around 100 inmates are on hunger strike. Some of them are being force fed.
Some 40 extra medical staff from the US navy have been sent to Guantanamo to help deal with the situation.