Mad Dog Mattis First F-22 Airstrike in Afghanistan Proves That He Is Not Messing Around

In its first major move since the Trump administration relaxed the rules of engagement last month, the U.S. military conducted airstrikes on opium processing facilities in Afghanistan last weekend using Afghan A-29s and U.S. B-52s and F-22s.

a�?The operation marked the first use of the F-22 to conduct airstrikes in Afghanistan,a�? Defense News reported. a�?The highly advanced stealth fighter has capabilities that exceed what should have been necessary to destroy a Taliban target, raising questions as to why that platform was selected.a�?

Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told reporters Monday that the F-22 was selected at the last minute based on availability, as well as its capability to carry small diameter precision bombs that he said would help a�?avoid collateral damage.a�?

He also reportedly showed a video clip of a target being completely demolished by several of the F-22a��s 250-pound small diameter bombs.

Known as Operation Jagged Knife, this operationa��s goal was a�?to target the source of Taliban revenue in much the same way the US military used airstrikes to destroy oil and other revenue sources for ISIS in Iraq and Syria,a�? according to CNN.

Moreover, it was supported by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who reportedly published a since-deleted tweet touting his administrationa��s desire a�?to tackle criminal economy and narcotics trafficking with full force.a�?

It remains unclear why he removed the tweet.

The strikes followed reports that opium production in Afghanistan has increased by a notable 87 percent this year alone. Ita��s likewise suspected the Taliban obtains most of its funding through selling this opium.

As noted by Defense News, however, the goal has been to destroy the Talibana��s opium processing facilities versus the farms that grow opium poppy.

Nicholson reportedly estimated that anywhere from 400 to 500 opium processing facilities lie throughout Afghanistan, meaning this operation is far from over.

With the rules of engagement now relaxed, however, the military should have no problem finding and destroying these facilities.

The rule change specifically removed a requirement that U.S. military forces a�?be in contact with enemy forcesa�? before opening fire, as reported last month by the Military Times.

a�?You see some of the results of releasing our military from, for example, a proximity requirement a�� how close was the enemy to the Afghan or the U.S.-advised special forces,a�? Defense Secretary James Mattis, who reportedly helped orchestrate the rule change, told the Senate Armed Services Committee at the time.

Yes, sir, I see very, very, very clearly *points to the videos above*.

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