There was an interesting editorial in the Iranian media this morning about last week's deployment of the MOAB in Afghanistan. The important points of the text highlight what has become a disturbing trend in the Administration:
"A new round of talks, during the International Afghanistan Peace Conference, being hosted in Moscow, started on Friday featuring a broader range of regional players than before. Representatives from Iran, China, India, Pakistan, and the Central Asian states are in attendance. This is the third meeting in five months, stepping up diplomatic efforts to find ways for reconciliation in the war-torn country, and settling Afghanistan's drawn-out struggle and Taliban Insurgency...
"In an aberration, however, the United States---which has kept a military presence in Afghanistan since the NATO withdrawal in 2014---turned down the invitation to attend despite Russia's insistence...Worse still, the US dropped a MOAB bomb on Afghanistan on Thursday, the day prior to the Moscow peace conference. The MOAB---which stands for 'massive ordinance air blast'---reportedly struck an ISIS tunnel complex in Nangarhar Province. However, as observers have pointed out, with a one-mile blast radius, the potential for civilian casualties is high. The attack is a sign that the US isn't on board for peace talks at any time, much less attend the Moscow talks."
The deployment of MOAB bears an eerie similarity to Trump's strange behavior during the Syrian Missile strike---timing it with President Xi Jinping's visit to Mar-a-Lago. It seems that MOAB was deliberately deployed the day before regional peace talks were being held. In the case of Afghanistan, it's not a question of whether or not deploying the MOAB was sound military strategy. The timing of the attack---poised directly between Tillerson's trip to Russia and the Afghan Peace Conference---comes across as a slap in the face to Russian diplomatic efforts. And the jackals in the Corporate Media, behaving like a bunch of cannibals dancing around a stew-pot, are not helping America's Image in this regard in the least.
Advising the President of China about a missile strike on his allies during dessert and dropping a MOAB the day before a peace conference is not 'a show of strength'; it is the behavior of a gutter-level thug carrying on a 'turf war.' Obama was notorious for these kinds of double-crosses too; but (apparently) less driven by a trash-culture mentality and cagey enough to know when to stop pushing his limits. One of the criticisms against Trump during the Republican Party primaries was that he treated politics like a Reality TV show and came across as a bully. This is precisely how his recent foreign policy is coming across. Obama found out the hard way that, while a US politician can get away with these shenanigans inside the country, playing these games on foreign powers can backfire and backfire badly.
The difference is simply this: Americans generally agree to a Rule of Law and form policies politically; and resolve differences through a set electoral process. Foreign countries play by their own rules and maintain military, economic, and diplomatic means of defending their interests. Afghanistan is a good example. When we have a national emergency in the US that requires military intervention---like urban riots---the police and National Guard are restoring order among an unruly populace angry over some specific issue. The troubles die down and life goes back to normal. In a country like Afghanistan, you have competing groups who don't want some outside group imposing their will on them. Things don't die down in Afghanistan: they get increasingly worse and after 16 years, the US has accomplished very little since deposing the Taliban in 2002.
It's becoming increasingly imperative that Trump's supporters impress upon him the need to rein in these Neocon maniacs: Tillerson, Pompeo, Haley, McMaster, and Votel in particular before a crisis that nobody can control occurs.