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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Large Bomb in Afghanistan Serves As Another Message of Strength from President Trump

By Douglas V. Gibbs
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While I don't believe America should be an aggressive offensive war machine bent on conquest, I do believe it takes strength to fend off those out there who are seeking being an aggressive offensive war machine bent on conquest (Islam, North Korea, Iran, Russia, China - to name a few).

President Donald J. Trump, I think, believes what President Ronald Reagan believed.  Peace is achieved through strength.

After Syria was the site of the use of chemical weapons, President Trump ordered a Tomahawk missile strike on the airfield from where the chemical attack originated (the chemical weapons had been loaded upon a Russian-made aircraft on the airfield that was targeted by Trump's Tomahawks).

Now, shortly after an American Green Beret was killed fighting ISIS in Nangarhar (though officials say that the killing of the Green Beret was not the reason behind the strike), the U.S. military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb on an ISIS tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan.  The GBU-43B, a 21,000-pound conventional bomb, was deployed in Nangarhar Province close to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. By comparison, each Tomahawk cruise missile launched at a Syrian military air base last week weighed 1,000 pounds each.

This was the first time the MOAB -- Massive Ordnance Air Blast -- or “Mother Of All bombs,” first tested in 2003, has been used in combat.

Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said the bomb had been brought to Afghanistan "some time ago" for potential use. The bomb explodes in the air, creating air pressure that can make tunnels and other structures collapse. It can be used at the start of an offensive to soften up the enemy, weakening both its infrastructure and morale.

"As [ISIS'] losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense," Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement. "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against [ISIS]."

President Trump told media Thursday afternoon that "this was another successful mission" and he gave the military total authorization.

Ismail Shinwari, the governor of Achin district, said the U.S. attack was carried out in a remote mountainous area with no civilian homes nearby and that there had been no reports of injured civilians. He said there has been heavy fighting in the area in recent weeks between Afghan forces and ISIS militants.

As for the coincidence that this followed shortly after the death of an American Green Beret?

“It was the right weapon for the right target, and not in retaliation,” an official said.

The U.S. estimates that between 600 to 800 ISIS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. The U.S. has concentrated heavily on combatting them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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