The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan did not consult with the commander-in-chief before dropping the so-called “Mother of All Bombs,” because he saw no reason to. Earlier this week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer literally ran away from questions regarding Trump’s knowledge of the strike. Now we know that the Army did not bother to consult Trump at all — they probably knew better than to involve him in the decision-making process.
Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, ordered the use of a GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) using pre-existing authorities.
A senior defense official told The Washington Examiner:
From [Nicholson’s] perspective, it was just another bomb. … He didn’t ask permission. He didn’t have to. He had been looking at this target for months and decided it was time to mix things up.
Gen. Nicholson was able to deploy the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, dubbed in the press as “Mother of All Bombs” under a longstanding rule for ordering strikes against terrorists, according to the source.
The Pentagon said in an announcement on Thursday that MOAB had been dropped on a network of tunnels used by an ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.
Trump was quick to take credit, expressing his pride over the operation and calling it “another successful event,” but he and his press secretary refused to say whether he had a hand in the decision at all.
Trump told reporters:
Everybody knows exactly what happened, so, and what I do is I authorize my military. … We have the greatest military in the world, and they’ve done a great job as usual so we have given them total authorization. And that’s what they’re doing.