The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan reportedly did not anticipate the impression dropping America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb would make on the public.
"From his perspective, it was just another bomb," a senior defense official told The Washington Examiner for a report Friday. "We should have realized how it would be viewed. That’s on us."
"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."
The Examiner’s source added Nicholson had mulled using the MOAB — informally known as the "Mother Of All Bombs" — in Afghanistan well before President TrumpDonald TrumpFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Giving thanks for Thanksgiving itself Immigration provision in Democrats' reconciliation bill makes no sense MORE’s inauguration in January.
Nicholson was capable of deploying the weapon under longstanding authorities for ordering offensive strikes against al Qaeda and affiliated terrorists, the source said.
The Pentagon announced Thursday that a MOAB had been dropped on tunnels used by a network of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Achin district of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.
Thursday’s strike marked the first time the munition had been used in combat, and it became the most powerful bomb used in Afghanistan to date.
Trump called the operation “another successful event” before declining to say whether he approved the massive weapon’s use.
“Everybody knows exactly what happened, so, and what I do is I authorize my military,” he told reporters.
“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.”