July Fourth, Early
This past Thursday the US military deployed the GBU-43, the largest non-nuclear weapon in the arsenal, at a cave site reputed to be used by ISIS in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.
For the military it’s the equivalent of being able to take that brand new Harley you bought out for a spin after a long winter in the garage.
Dad finally said OK over his shoulder as he was on his way out the door to go golfing.
Using the GBU-43 was a futile gesture as is the entire Afghan war if creating democracy there is the goal.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who can thank the US military for his time in office, said there was no justification for the US to use the weapon.
According to the NYT he also “called his successor “a traitor” and declared that he wanted the Americans gone from the country,” not exactly a ringing endorsement for the US mission there.
2,394 US soldiers have been killed and thousands more injured, many disabled for life, in a country where after 16 years of fighting we lack the support of civilian leaders–they want us out.
Good morning, Vietnam.
A positive aspect, perhaps the only one, of the Trump presidency, was the opportunity to comprehensively reassess combat deployments in light of their success and stated goals.
Worse than not doing that, dragging out the “big guns” is universally perceived as an escalation in the region and elsewhere.
(A single B-52, reliable but old, can drop over triple the bomb payload.)
In fact, that message outweighs the effect of the bomb itself.
The big boom is over, the dust has settled and we are back at square one: young lives on the line for naught.