Some great follow-up news on the “Mother of all Bombs” strike in Afghanistan.
Afghan officials have upped the number of ISIS members taken out by the strike and says leaders were also killed in the blast.
From Los Angeles Times:
Afghan officials said Saturday that 94 militants were killed in a massive U.S. bomb blast targeting Islamic State’s regional affiliate, nearly three times as many as was reported a day earlier.
Ismail Shinwari, governor of Achin district in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, where the 20,000-pound bomb struck Thursday evening, said there were no reports of civilian casualties.
The dead included several leaders of the Islamic State affiliate, which is loosely connected to the main militant organization based in Iraq and Syria, Afghan officials said.
The Afghan government had worked with the U.S. to coordinate the strike on the underground complex of tunnels and caves. Afghan special forces had evacuated a nearby local village to protect local civilians from being hit.
Perhaps even better news for long-standing change is that the Trump administration is giving the military more free rein to deal with ISIS and al-Qaeda than had the Obama administration.
From Daily Caller:
“There’s nothing formal, but it is beginning to take shape,” a senior U.S. defense told The Wall Street Journal. “There is a sense among these commanders that they are able to do a bit more — and so they are.” […]
“Technically there’s no piece of paper that says you have to ask the president to drop a MOAB. But last year this time, the way [things were] meant, ‘I’m going to drop a MOAB, better let the White House know.’”
The bombing was a military and strategic decision, as it should be, because Trump allowed them their head.
Top U.S. General in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson emphasized to reporters that he is the one of made the decision to drop the MOAB. “It was the right time to use it tactically against the right target on the battlefield,” Nicholson insisted.
Trump himself told reporters Thursday that he has given the military “total authorization.” Trump has also removed White House reviews of U.S. strikes in countries like Yemen and Somalia. Trump designated Yemen and Somalia as an “active areas of hostilities” in March, which allows the Pentagon to aggressively target al-Qaida without White House approval.
What has harmed our efforts in the past was the politics, the micro management, the hesitation and crazy rules of engagement that hamstringed the military’s ability to actually get the job done.
Trump is now letting the military make the decisions that always should have been their purview.
And it’s working…