April 17, 2017

Afghanistan is at risk of becoming the new Vietnam

By Christopher D. Kolenda

Thursday’s detonation in Afghanistan of the massive GBU 43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, also known as the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) could be for this war what the Tet Offensive was for Vietnam: a tactical military success that became the iconic symbol of a war gone hopelessly wrong.

Famed CBS correspondent Walter Cronkite’s poignant post-Tet commentary woke up Americans to that war’s strategic bankruptcy. The MOAB should do the same for Afghanistan. Fortunately, there is still time to win this one.

To be sure, the exceptionally-talented commander Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson was correct in stating that the bomb was the right munition for the right target. Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K, the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan) was using deep tunnel complexes in the Achin district to hide from American surveillance, amass logistics, and plan and coordinate their operations. The intelligence needed to find and strike the bunker was extensive. Experts in targeting and the law of armed conflict analyzed the problem in detail. The MOAB was probably the only alternative to a bloody ground assault. Destroying this complex will be a major setback for ISIS. There is even a chance it will not recover.

Read the full article at The Hill.

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