Loosening of rules of engagement
The US Air Force has deployed a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb otherwise known as the Mother of All Bombs, in a series of caves said to be used by the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan. This was the first time the bomb had been utilized in combat according to Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was dropped from an MC-130 aircraft. It weighs 21,600 pounds and is GPS guided containing 11 tons of explosives which is a tall figure for the military’s largest non-nuclear device.
The weapon’s first test was days before the Iraq ear in March 2013 and dropped after its deployment was approved by General John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan. General Nicholson stated the strike was supposed to minimize the risk to both American and Afghan forces while conducting clearing operations within the Achin area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS fighters and facilities. He claimed in a statement This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.’
loosening of rules of engagement
The Pentagon did not issue any casualty totals for the bombing which was part of an intense air campaign against the militant group in Afghanistan. Though in a separate announcement, the Pentagon claimed that an airstrike in Syria by the American-led coalition in fighting the Islamic state there had killed 18 Syrian fighters allied with the United States in raising concerns on whether the White House is applying rigor when it comes to the process of approving airstrikes in major areas of interest within the Middle East. This happens to be a symptom of the American administration showing priority towards military operations. Some say it is a function of the republican party to concentrate more on the defense department when it comes to power every decade or so. Nonetheless, the fact is American commanders in Iraq and Syria have been given more authority to call in air strikes in a move that sees a loosening of overwatch on military activities since the Obama administration. As a result, some national security experts have said that President Trump and the Pentagon’s activities in the fighting the Islamic State East risks increasing anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world.
The number of civilian casualties that were reported in the American-led strikes in both Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State has increased since Donald Trump took office as March was the deadliest month for civilians according to Airways which is a group that tracks the bombings. Reports concerning the civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria have increased to 3471 from 1782 which was just recorded the previous month. American officials have claimed the increasing number of strikes and the increased danger to civilians because of the fact the fight is going towards the densely populated urban battlefields of Raqqa and Mosul. Officials state they are trying to avoid civilian casualties while the militants deliberately kill anyone that stands in their way. In addition to loosening of control in Syria and Iraq which started towards the end of the Obama administration, Donald Trump seems to be relaxing some of the rules which prevent civilian casualties when the military carries out strikes to deal with counterterrorism in both of these regions.