The bombing was the first time the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb had been used in combat
Trump declined to say whether he personally signed off on the strike
Republican defense hawks lauded the Trump administration Thursday after the US military dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan.
Republican senators said the strike with a bomb known as the “mother of all bombs” (MOAB) was a sign of President Donald Trump’s commitment to defeating ISIS wherever the group materializes.
“I hope America’s adversaries are watching & now understand there’s a new sheriff in town,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican. “Pleased Air Force dropped MOAB against ISIL in Afghanistan. Must be more aggressive against ISIL everywhere - including Afghanistan.”
Sen. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, said the decision to drop the bomb “sends a clear message that the United States is committed and determined to defeating ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan.”
“I applaud President Trump’s commitment to the fight against terror, giving his military commanders the authorities they need to defeat our enemies and sending a clear message to both our enemies and our allies,” Inhofe said in statement.
Thursday’s bombing was the first time the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb had been used in combat.
Afterward, Trump declined to say whether he personally signed off on the strike, but noted, “Everybody knows exactly what happens. So, what I do is I authorize our military.”
Democrats, however, were raising questions over Thursday’s bombing.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, told CNN’s Jake Tapper he was “all for going after ISIS.” But he asked questions over whether the bombing was going to help the larger strategy in Afghanistan, and said he wanted to learn if there were any civilian casualties.
“We can’t just bomb our way to national security,” Swalwell said. “Right now, this President wants to dramatically cut to foreign aid.”
And California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier said she was concerned Trump was “taking little responsibility” over the strikes and the larger strategy in Afghanistan.
“They seem to be driven more by what kind of impact it’s going to have on domestic policy than on a cohesive foreign policy,” Speier told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We are escalating in an area that I think we should be deescalating in.”