President Trump praised the attack as a "very, very successful mission." He indicated that he had given the Pentagon a free hand to use the weapon as part of his vow to step up the war on Islamic State.
"We have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing and frankly that’s why they’ve been so successful lately,” he told reporters at the White House. “If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what’s happened over the past eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference, tremendous difference.”
It may be tempting to see this as evidence that the US is increasingly worried about ISIS’s influence in the country. But the truth appears to be closer to the opposite: ISIS’s forces have dropped by about 75 percent since their peak in late 2015, and the group has lost significant territory since then.
“By NATO's own estimates, it's something like 800 fighters countrywide, a big drop over past year,” Colin Cookman, an Afghanistan expert at the United States Institute of Peace, tweeted.