by Pamela Williams
Fox News is told that General John Nicholson made the decision on his own. President Trump’s approval apparently was not needed. Trump himself declined to say where the order came from, but stressed that he has given the military complete flexibility.
I had no idea that President Trump had given the military this kind of authority. He has made a huge mistake in my opinion. The Military elite are taking advantage of him, and it may be they are going rogue on him. This is very concerning.
“We have given the military total authorization,” Trump told reporters. “Frankly, that’s why they’ve been so successful lately.”
The Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB, arrived in Afghanistan in early January, and is designed for its psychological effect as much as the damage it causes – the 21,000-pound bomb has a blast radius of one mile.
When the Air Force tested the GBU-43/B in 2003 at the start of the Iraq war, the plume from the explosion reached 10,000 feet into the air. Until Thursday, it was never used in combat.
Afghan officials say 36 ISIS fighters were killed in the strike.
The Department of Defense released footage of the strike on Friday. In the 30-second video, the bomb could be seen dropping before it exploded midair. Smoke quickly rose from the impact zone.
Speaking Friday morning in Kabul, Nicholson defended his decision to order its use, saying this was the right bomb and the right time to use it.
He said the U.S. had persistent surveillance over the area “before, during and after” the operation, and they see no evidence of civilian casualties.
There are under 1,000 ISIS fighters in eastern Afghanistan. Nicholson said hundreds of U.S. airstrikes in the past two years have cut the number down by two-thirds.
Senior Air Force officials told Fox News this is a weapon that is used for strategic messaging – it was described as a tactical decision by the commander in Afghanistan, with no real strategic input from Washington.
President Trump needs to reign his military in now.
ALERT: ASSOCIATED PRESS SAYS: NO STRIKE ON NORTH KOREA/CHINA WILL WORK ON THEM.
Trump, who last week acted unilaterally in ordering a cruise missile strike on Syria, has been using America’s military might to send a message to Kim. An aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, is heading to waters off Korea in a show of force. Trump has repeatedly issued ambiguous threats that if Beijing isn’t willing to do more to squeeze the North, the U.S. might take the matter into its own hands.
But a U.S. military official, who requested anonymity to discuss planning, said the U.S. doesn’t intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch. The official said plans could change in the unlikely event a North Korean missile targets South Korea, Japan or U.S. territory.