The so-called Mother of all Bombs may have fallen on a remote area of Afghanistan, but its message was surely heard in Russia, in Syria, and in North Korea.

There is indeed a new sheriff in town — one not afraid to use American might in the furtherance of American national security interests.

Donald Trump, who spent much of the 2016 campaign preaching a foreign policy gospel of neo-isolationism, seems to have discovered in short order that to keep “America First” means standing up for American interests and, yes, even American values, around the globe.

In the space of one short week he managed to deliver that message with 59 Tomahawk missiles to the Assad regime in Syria and to its benefactor, Russia.

And yesterday the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (nickname MOAB) with a blast area of more than a mile, was used to target the caves and tunnels that have provided a refuge to Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.

“In order for the U.S. to defeat ISIS,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer, “we must deny them operational space.”

It is surely no coincidence that the largest non-nuclear bomb the U.S. possesses — and yet has never used in combat before — was used in the same area where an American Green Beret was killed last weekend when his unit was attacked by ISIS fighters.

Staff Sgt. Mark DeAlencar, 37, married father of five, was the first U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan this year.

But this show of military might — on day 84 of the Trump presidency — also comes a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s fruitless efforts in Moscow and before an anticipated North Korean nuclear test or missile launch Saturday to mark the anniversary of the birth of the country’s founder Kim il Sung, the grandfather Kim Jong Un.

Yes, timing is everything. And eight years of a president who believed in “leading from behind” has allowed would-be tyrants around the world to underestimate American resolve.

But it should also be noted that during the presidential campaign Trump did promise to “bomb the sh-t” out of ISIS. Looks like he means to keep that promise.


(c)2017 the Boston Herald

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