Friday, April 14, 2017
$16,000,000.00 to kill 36 people
At that rate of expenditure, even King Midas himself would not be able to finance a war the way Donald Trump would direct it.
A day after the United States military dropped its most powerful conventional bomb on caves used by Islamic State affiliates in eastern Afghanistan, officials said on Friday that dozens of militants had been killed, but that they were still trying to assess the full extent of the damage. Residents said the blast had been felt tens of miles away.Not quite as much fun as blowing off a tactical nuke, but a tad safer. And now we know what happens in the real world when we use on. Given the cost of Trump's military profligacy, even an alleged billionsire like him would be broke by the 4th of July.
The strike on Thursday targeted a set of mountain tunnels in the Achin district, a stronghold of the Islamic State’s regional affiliate, and it was the first use in combat of the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, referred to as the “mother of all bombs.” The bombing was part of an intense air campaign against the Islamic State, with American airstrikes in Afghanistan averaging as many as 10 a day in the first two weeks of April.
Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, said initial information indicated that 36 militants had been killed and three large caves destroyed in the bombing in Nangarhar Province.
Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said on Friday at a news conference in Kabul, the capital, that the Islamic State was using caves, tunnels and “an extensive belt of improvised explosive devices,” or roadside bombs, to resist Afghan and coalition operations.
The general said that he had been in constant touch with his chain of command, but that the decision to deploy such force was shaped by the battlefield realities and not by outside political factors. President Trump has given additional authority to military commanders since taking office, but he has not said whether he personally approved Thursday’s bombing mission.
“This is the first time we have encountered an extensive obstacle to our progress that was constituted by I.E.D.s, the presence of tunnels and caves, and therefore this was the appropriate weapon to use at this time,” General Nicholson said. “It was the right time to use it tactically against the right target on the battlefield, and it has enabled us to resume our offensive operations.”
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