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The "Mattis Effect": US Military Sets New Bombing Record

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Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis has been at the helm at the Pentagon for just over a year, and already America has set another record the military can be proud of: The most guided bombs dropped by a single plane in a 24-hour period in the country’s history.

According to Fox News, a B-52 Stratofortress managed to set the record during bombing runs in northern Afghanistan.

The plane, which had been fitted with a conventional rotary launcher — an upgrade that involves replacing the massive-but-aging bomber’s cruise missile racks with platforms for smart bombs — dropped 24 guided bombs.

Lest one bomb per hour seem a bit paltry to you, consider that these guided munitions were specifically targeted at major Taliban sites.

The tactical strikes were part of a 96-hour bombing campaign that started over the weekend.

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Hit during the raids were training centers, facilities associated with narcotics trafficking, and stolen Afghan National Army vehicles that were “being converted to vehicle-borne” explosive devices, the military reported in a news release issued Tuesday by Operation Resolute Support, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban have nowhere to hide,” Gen. John Nicholson, commander of the unit that carried out the bombings, said in the release.

“There will be no safe haven for any terrorist group bent on bringing harm and destruction to this country.”

The record-setting bombing operation comes just months after another B-52 broke the previous record by dropping 19 guided munitions back in November.

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“The new strategy highlights that this is a new war,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, director of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, said at the time.

“The gloves are off. We’ve now got these authorities we need to be able to go and target the Taliban network … That is our new strategy going forward and it’s definitely been a game-changer and the Taliban is definitely feeling it.

“All the areas where they thought they were safe and they are no longer so,” he added.

Call it the “Mattis effect.”

Thanks to President Donald Trump, Mattis has been given greater authority to set objectives and troop levels in Afghanistan, and it certainly shows, especially when you considered the limited engagement tactics of the Obama administration in the region.

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Now that the Islamic State group as a geopolitical force has mostly been defused in the Middle East, troops from at least one American-led coalition base are being shifted to Afghanistan, Fox News reported Tuesday.

The gloves are indeed off, and the Taliban and other terrorists are finding out just how the “Mattis effect” is going to make their lives extremely difficult.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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