In an epic portrayal of President Donald Trump’s approach to sponsors of terrorism, a recently released video showed what happens when we let our military do what needs to be done.
The video showed a series of U.S.-conducted airstrikes on opium processing labs in Afghanistan that were carried out on Nov. 19 as part of Operation Jagged Knife — a joint operation to target drug facilities in Taliban-controlled areas of the country.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Andrews told CNN that the airstrikes were carried out by U.S. F-16s out of Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and U.S. B-52s flying out of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. A U.S. F-22 Raptor and Afghan Air Force A-29s also participated in the strikes.
Watch video footage of the strikes here:
The strikes were a clear indication of how Trump plans to fix the mistakes of his predecessor.
President Barack Obama infamously withdrew large numbers of troops from the area during his presidency, sidelining U.S. forces from conducting offensive operations and airstrikes.
The result was a spike in casualties for Afghan security forces who had been fighting alongside Western troops. In fact, 75,000 members of security personnel were killed in 2015 and 2016, Afghan ambassador to the U.S. Hamdullah Mohib told NBC News.
Under Trump, however, the U.S. is back to business, with reports indicating that three times as many bombs would be dropped in Afghanistan this year compared to 2016.
Trump also gave the green light for U.S. military to target Taliban facilities, regardless of whether they posed a direct risk to the U.S. or its allies.
General John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, explained the interest in targeting narcotics operations.
“They fight so that they can keep profiting from narcotics trade and other criminal activities,” Nicholson said, according to Newsweek.
The Taliban reportedly supplies an estimated 85 percent of the world’s opium, Nicholson explained to CNN.
Regional experts had also suggested that the campaign was necessary, as the drug trade has helped the Taliban sustain itself during the war by comprising at least 60 percent of the Taliban’s income, according to the New York Times.
Ten facilities were hit during the Nov. 19 strikes. Eight of those were targeted by American aircraft, while the other two were hit by Afghan warplanes.
Similar strikes could be expected in days to come, the top military leader explained, estimating that there were approximately 400 to 500 such facilities operating throughout Afghanistan at any time,
“We are not going to let up,” Nicholson vowed.
And that is how you get things done.
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