No Public Damage Assessment Coming For MOAB Strike

The military will not publicly disclose a battle damage assessment or tally of ISIS fighters killed in the April 13 GBU-43 bombing of a tunnel network in eastern Afghanistan. Defense Secretary James Mattis, questioned by reporters in Egypt, said the bombing was used to deliver a blow to ISIS. “There was no surprise in terms of the effect of that battle at all,” Mattis said. “The battle was going on, and we were going to use what was necessary to break ISIS. And we’ve made that very clear in every theater where we’re up against ISIS.” The Pentagon learned lessons from Vietnam, where it wasn’t prudent to judge success by the number of enemy forces killed. While US Forces-Afghanistan said shortly after the bombing it had forces on the ground who had not seen evidence of civilian casualties, Mattis said a full search of the site and “digging into tunnels to count dead bodies” is not a good use of troops’ time. While the US military is not talking about the damage done by the bomb, an Afghan official said last week that 94 fighters were killed, according to CNN.