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World Analysis: Afghan strike may bolster Trump

03:25  14 april  2017
03:25  14 april  2017 Source:   usatoday.com

Military has "total authorization," Trump says after bomb drop

  Military has Neither would directly answer whether Mr. Trump authorized the use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan on Thursday“What I do is I authorize my military,” Mr. Trump said in response to reporters’ questions about the bomb drop during a White House meeting with first responders from the recent Atlanta bridge fire.

Thursday's attack may bolster Trump 's popularity, at least in the short term, analysts said, thought it may also heighten fears about the president's aggressiveness. Foreign policy analysts have long noted that Trump likes to surround himself with military symbols

Trump 's Afghan shift praised in Kabul but leaves Pakistan wary. Tillerson acknowledged that the US and its allies might not be able to win the war in Afghanistan , but neither could the Trump ’s speech was welcomed by the Afghan government . However, under Trump ’s plan, Kabul will also come

WASHINGTON — Even though President Trump didn't authorize dropping of a 21,000-lb. bomb in Afghanistan on Thursday, he may still get a political boost from it.

U.S. 'mother of all bombs' killed 36 Islamic State militants in Afghanistan

  U.S. 'mother of all bombs' killed 36 Islamic State militants in Afghanistan As many as 36 suspected Islamic State militants were killed in Afghanistan when the United States dropped "the mother of all bombs," one of the largest non-nuclear devices ever unleashed in combat, the Afghan defence ministry said on Friday.KABUL, April 14 (Reuters) - As many as 36 suspected Islamic State militants were killed in Afghanistan when the United States dropped "the mother of all bombs," one of the largest non-nuclear devices ever unleashed in combat, the Afghan defence ministry said on Friday.

Congress and US allies briefed on progress of Nuclear Posture Review, with plans to increase stockpile and loosen conditions under which it could be used.

Donald Trump to expand US military intervention in Afghanistan . The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated sharply. The Afghan government faces a resurgent Taliban, a And his bad relations with Nato mean he may struggle to get the European troops he wants as the US once

After U.S. military announced the attack on an Islamic State tunnel complex, Trump said he endorsed the strike, and he said he wasn't trying to send a message to another troublesome nation, North Korea. "It doesn’t make any difference if it does or not — North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of," Trump told reporters.

Asked about the use of the GBU-43, or massive ordnance air blast (MOAB) in Afghanistan, coming one week after a missile strike in Syria, Trump said that "what I do is I authorize my military. ... We have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing and frankly that’s why they’ve been so successful lately."

Government officials said that while Trump has been briefed on the potential use of the MOAB, it does not appear Trump got a special briefing  on Thursday's use. There was no need for one, a White House official said, because Trump had given authority to the military when it came to attacking ISIS, and the president was aware that this weapon was an option. "He had already in effect greenlighted it," the official said who was not authorized to speak on the record. 

Some in Afghanistan question U.S. choice to use 22,000-pound bomb against ISIS

  Some in Afghanistan question U.S. choice to use 22,000-pound bomb against ISIS Local lawmaker said drone strikes have been effective, and questions the use of the giant GBU-43 explosive. KABUL — U.S. forces in Afghanistan had not yet assessed the impact Friday of a massive strike on Islamic State militants in the eastern part of the country, a military spokesman said, raising questions about the already controversial decision to deploy a 22,000-pound bomb on the battlefield.

JUST WATCHED. The pillars of Trump 's Afghanistan strategy. Trump referenced both on Monday, talking about seeking out terrorists wherever they were and saying the US was committed to working with the Afghan government, while noting that the US support "is not a blank check."

Trump ’s Cracked Afghan History. His falsehoods about allies and the Soviets reach a new low. They will be criticized heavily, and deservedly so. The full text is available on the White House website. Mr. Trump ridiculed other nations’ commitment of troops to fight alongside America’s in Afghanistan .

Military officials said the president has given the military wide latitude to fight the war on terrorism as they see fit.

Commanders in Afghanistan already had approval to use the bomb from Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, who had changed the rules for bombing in Iraq and Syria last year, said a defense official who was not authorized to speak on the record. He said Thursday  was chosen because of the target. The strike was announced because it was the first time the MOAB was used in combat and the size of the blast was certain to raise questions among locals, the official said, and was not dropped to send a message to North Korea. The MOAB was seen as the best choice among a series of options for the attack. 

A second senior Defense official also cautioned reading more into the use of the MOAB. Sometimes a bomb is just a bomb, said the official who also was not authorized to speak publicly. 

Afghan official: Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

  Afghan official: Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94 The number of militants killed in an attack by the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military has risen to 94, an Afghan official said Saturday.Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, said the number of Islamic State group dead was up from the 36 reported a day earlier. A Ministry of Defense official had said Friday the number of dead could rise as officials assessed the bomb site in Achin district."Fortunately there is no report of civilians being killed in the attack," Khogyani said.The U.S.

The thought of military intervention in Venezuela probably took many Americans by surprise when it was floated on Friday by President Trump . But in Venezuela, it was a threat that would have sounded familiar, as if the words had been scripted by the government itself.

Trump has so far resisted the Pentagon’s recommendations to send almost 4,000 more to expand training of Afghan military forces and bolster U.S He also recommends expanding U.S. training assistance to the Afghan security forces so they can capably fight the Taliban and other militant groups.

  Analysis: Afghan strike may bolster Trump © Provided by USA Today

Fears of a wider conflict

Trump’s decision to attack Syria’s airbase last week won plaudits from allies around the world and many Syrians under siege from the regime of President Bashar Assad. Even former presidential opponent Hillary Clinton said she was in favor of a retaliatory strike (she actually said it before he did it).

Thursday's attack may bolster Trump's popularity, at least in the short term, analysts said, thought it may also heighten fears about the president's aggressiveness.

Foreign policy analysts have long noted that Trump likes to surround himself with military symbols, whether it's appearing with troops in uniform or campaigning on battleships and aircraft carriers. "I think Trump is the kind of person who likes to put out visuals," said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, a non-partisan foreign policy think tank in Washington. "It seems like he's a guy who likes to do a lot of signaling to his adversaries."

He added, though, that doesn't mean we should expect him to attack North Korea, whose leader, Kim Jong-un, has increased his war of words with the United States and may be planning a nuclear test this weekend. "I think he's trying to signal to the North Koreans that he means business, but I don't think it means anything more than that."

NSA McMaster Visits Afghanistan Amid Questions Over Strategy

  NSA McMaster Visits Afghanistan Amid Questions Over Strategy Donald Trump's national security adviser met Afghan officials in Kabul on Sunday, after American forces dropped a huge bomb on the country last week.The visit by H.R. McMaster, the first high-level visit the the country by a Trump official, came just days after the U.S. military sparked controversy by dropping a GBU-43 MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb), one of the largest conventional weapons ever used in combat, during an operation on Thursday against Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan.

The death last week of the Taliban's senior leader in southern Afghanistan in a U.S. air strike highlights a surge in operations amid pressure to Scott Miller, who arrived as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in September, has pushed Afghan forces to go on the offensive, backed by

Russia plans to increase air defences in Syria after a US missile strike on a government-controlled airfield The ministry also accused the Trump administration of planning a missile strike on Syria long before You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully.

Also, the MOAB is delivered by a cargo plane, in this case an MC-130, which would not be suitable for use in North Korea.

While Trump once expressed opposition to bombing in Syria, he has long threatened to use force against the Islamic State — most famously in November of 2015 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, when he drew applause for threatening to go after ISIS oil fields and "bomb the s--- out of them."

As for North Korea, Trump has urged China to help rein in their neighbor's nuclear threats, or the United States and its allies will do so on their own. 

The saber rattling, the sudden strikes in Syria and Afghanistan, and opposition to the Syria strike from countries like Russia all have created worries by critics that Trump might somehow start "World War III."

Michael Caputo, a Trump campaign aide, said military men and veterans "are happy to see a different kind of chief executive," and he predicted the public will react positively as well. The strikes have been carefully planned and "very precise," he said, and "those kinds of actions typically get high levels of support."

Dismissing concerns about a general war, Caputo said "we've been war with Islamic terrorism for a long time ... This isn't unique to his presidency."

Trump is also issuing warnings to adversaries, Caputo said. "One, when he draws a red line, it's really quite red," he said. "And, two, we have the weaponry to cause really, really serious trouble."


Few clues on casualties at site of huge U.S. bomb in Afghanistan .
<p>The remote site in eastern Afghanistan where the U.S. military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat earlier this month bears signs of the weapon's power, but little evidence of how much material and human damage it inflicted.</p>Reuters photos and video footage - some of the first images from journalists allowed to get close to the site - reveal a scarred mountainside, burned trees and some ruined mud-brick structures.

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