Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Trump Is Making Good On His Promise To ‘Bomb The Sh*t’ Out Of Terrorists
Early in his unusual campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump laid out a simple, if inelegant, strategy for ridding the Middle East of the scourge of ISIS: “bomb the shit out of ‘em.” Now almost eight months into his presidency, the commander-in-chief is making good on his promise: The Air Force has deployed more munitions against terror groups in Afghanistan in August than any other month in the last five years, according to U.S. Central Command’s latest summary of U.S. airpower in the region.
U.S. military aircraft deployed more than 500 weapons against ISIS, Taliban, and al-Qaeda targets as part of operations Freedom’s Sentinel and Resolute Support in Afghanistan during August 2017, the most since the same month in 2012, according to the monthly airpower statistics released by CENTCOM’s Combined Air Operations Center (COAC) at Al-Udeid Air Base that oversees air operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and 18 other countries throughout the region. Most of the munitions were released by F-16 fighter jets and MQ-9 Reaper drones.
The number represents a significant uptick from the 350 deployed in July, a noticeable acceleration of the U.S.-led air campaign in Afghanistan ahead of 4,000 additional troops’ arrival in the country to bolster the Pentagon’s existing force of 11,000 service members.
The operational tempo of U.S.-led air campaigns has increased dramatically against terror groups across the region Trump took office: So far this year, U.S. aircraft have deployed 2,487 munitions against enemy targets in Afghanistan, nearly double the number dropped during all of 2016, according to CENTCOM data.
Similarly, aircraft in August dropped some 5,075 munitions on ISIS targets as part of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, up from 3,439 in February and the most deployed in a single month since the beginning of Operation Inherent Resolve there in August 2014.
U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 100th Fighter Squadron prepare to refuel during Red Flag-Alaska 13-3 over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex Aug. 19, 2013Photo via DoD
The surge in air sorties has resulted not just in an alarming rise in civilian casualties, but rapid depletion of coalition arsenals that sent defense contractors scrambling to ramp up production on Small Diameter Bombs and the Joint Direct Attack Munitions guidance kits crucial to the U.S.-led air campaigns’ effectiveness. In May, Secretary of Defense James Mattis even “personally intervened” to jam as many “preferred munitions” into the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2018 budget request, some $16.4 billion in missiles and munitions.
While the uptick in munitions expenditures in Afghanistan may appear as a tactical precursor for the additional troops in the coming weeks, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told Military.com that Mattis and top Pentagon planners are still hammering out the strategic details of the new deployment.
"We're in the process of doing the detailed planning [for] that strategy," Goldfein told Military.com. "And the discussion that we're having… is, 'What's the air-ground team that's required to be able to now execute the strategy that the president has laid out?'"
The long-term strategy in Afghanistan may change over the coming months, but even if the Trump administration’s current approach is short on details and heavy on resolve, one thing remains clear: “Bomb the shit out of ‘em” will likely remain a pillar of the Global War On Terror for the foreseeable future.
A former Fort Bliss solider stood bruised and badly injured in court Thursday as he pleaded guilty to cutting the throat of another soldier during a 2017 drug robbery.
Zachary Johnston, who appeared in court in an orange jail jumpsuit and shackles around his ankles, pleaded guilty Thursday to a lesser count of murder as part of a plea agreement with state prosecutors.
He also appeared in court with two black eyes, bruises and cuts all over his face after he was involved in a jailhouse fight.
Johnston was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in connection with the brutal slaying of Tyler Kaden Croke, 23, on May 7, 2017, during a drug robbery at the Cantera Apartments in East El Paso. Croke, 23, was in the U.S. Army and served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Saudi ambassador to the United States visited a U.S. naval air station in Florida on Thursday to extend her condolences for a shooting attack by a Saudi Air Force officer that killed three people last week, the Saudi embassy said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday tested a conventionally configured ground-launched ballistic missile, a test that would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
A retired Navy SEAL running for Congress wore a U.S. Navy dress white uniform at a recent campaign event, Business Insider has learned.
Republican candidate Floyd McLendon of Texas spoke to an audience at his campaign kick-off event in November, wearing the Navy uniform adorned with numerous medals — including what appeared to be the Navy SEAL Trident, the insignia reserved for members of the elite community like McLendon.
The inaugural event in Dallas was held in the 30th congressional district, a different district than the one McLendon is running in. Political strategists in Texas described the venue's location as highly unusual for a House candidate.