CAGE accuses US of using Afghanistan as “testing ground” for new weaponry

The dropping of the largest non-nuclear weapon on Afghanistan by the United States is evidence that the Trump administration is using Afghanistan as a live human experimental field for its weaponry, according to advocacy group CAGE.

The bomb, which has a mile-long radius and is capable of massive devastation including obliteration, crushed internal organs, bleeding ears and loss of hearing, massive shockwaves, and huge environmental and infrastructure damage, was dropped on the orders of Army Gen. John Nicholson on Thursday.

Moazzam Begg, CAGE outreach director, said: “This is not the first time the US has dropped the closest conventional bomb to nuclear weapons. I witnessed US planes drop 15,000 lbs ‘daisy cutter’ bombs in Afghanistan in 2001. It was mass killing mastered to an American art.

“This bombing was ordered by an army general who did not need direct authorisation from the executive. With Trump also signing off responsibility for drone strikes to the CIA and reducing the necessary checks to prevent civilian casualties, the United States is now openly bombing with no public oversight, a new level of arrogance as a military state. More of this will not bring peace.

“We do not trust United States assurances that they have minimised civilian casualties. Already the US coalition has killed nearly 2000 civilians in Iraq and Syria. Such actions do nothing to win support and rather will perpetuate a cycle of violence that has now lasted 16 years and killed over 220,000 Afghans.”

Meanwhile, the top US military commander in Afghanistan has said the decision to use the bomb in the country was based purely on tactical considerations.

Gen John Nicholson said the most powerful non-nuclear bomb ever used by the US in combat had been the right weapon to target a suspected ISIS base in Nangarhar province. A 300m long network of tunnels and caves was destroyed, he said.

About 36 suspected ISIS fighters were killed, according to Afghan officials, but ISIS has denied suffering any casualties.

Known as the “mother of all bombs”, or MOAB, the device was dropped on Thursday evening by an MC-130 transport plane, falling in Nangarhar’s Achin district. Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah said the attack had been carried out in co-ordination with his government and “great care had been taken to avoid civilian harm.”

“The enemy had created bunkers, tunnels and extensive mine fields, and this weapon was used to reduce those obstacles so that we could continue our offensive in southern Nangarhar,” said Gen Nicholson. US and Afghan forces at the site saw “no evidence of civilian casualties”, he added. US President Donald Trump called the strike “another successful job.”

 

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