Using the "mother of all bombs" to attack ISIS targets in eastern Afghanistan not only sent a strong message to North Korea and other countries from the United States, but accomplished the mission of going up against terrorist targets without incurring U.S. casualties, Rep. Mike Coffman said Friday.
"To accomplish the mission in what was a very hardened target, that would have required quite a few casualties in terms of taking a cave and tunnel complex laden with or strewn with IEDs," Coffman told CNN's "New Day" program.
The Trump administration also sent a message to the Taliban with the strike, as "a lot of these ISIS fighters are prior Taliban fighters that happened to change jerseys," the Colorado Republican said.
"The fact is, the Taliban has no desire to negotiate, and [they] feel time is on their side and feel there's no opportunity for peace without a negotiated settlement with the Taliban," Coffman said. "I think it's a signal to them that the U.S. is going to, you know, strengthen its resolve to bring this war to a close and for them to come to the table."
Overall, he said, there is no question that the use of the MOAB, which bears an official name of Massive Ordnance Air Blast, was the largest nonnuclear weapon in the United States' arsenal sent a message to North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran, that Trump will be decisive in terms of protecting America's national security interests.
"I hope that it, that the president putting pressure on China, who really controls the cards in this region in terms of North Korea, will try and bring peace to this,"
Coffman does not believe the United States should respond by going to war if North Korea follows through with tests to either conduct a nuclear test or fire a missile this weekend.
"I think our concern is that it is, it is another step towards North Korea gaining the capability to not only attack targets within its region but also the United States," said Coffman. "So again I think showing resolve from a military perspective all options are on the table, but sending a message to China we are serious, a only true ally and trading partner."
There is growing call for Trump to consult with Congress before taking further action, considering the Syrian airstrikes, a bombing raid in Yemen, and now with the MOAB drop in Afghanistan, but Coffman said Trump has acted within legal limits, particularly with the Syrian airstrikes.
"He certainly consulted congressional leadership within 48 hours [after Syria]," said Coffman. "I'm looking at tightening up what we call the War Powers Act of 1993 that kind of defines the relationship between the White House, the president as commander in chief, and Congress in terms of authorizing military action. But I think the president certainly was within the parameters of current law in what he's done. "
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