1

In this vieo the US President Donald Trump is seen saying that:

I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth it would be gone it would be over in literally in ten days and I don't want to do that I don't want to go that route so we're working with Pakistan and others to extricate ourselves ...

I am sure the USA has enough military might to do so - only one nuclear bomb is enough. But, I don't think he would be able to justify his decision in the US Congress and in the UN.

Is Trump able to wipe Afghanistan off the face of the earth by the unilateral decisions?

4
  • 1
    Actually, a very similar question was asked in SE.History, about Vietnam. One person linked to a study claiming that many many nukes would not have gotten the job done, let alone only one. Looks like another "Trump fact". – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Jun 11 '20 at 22:16
  • You really have two separate questions here. 1) Could Trump (or any US President) unilaterally launch nuclear weapons? (Not really, since there's a chain of command down to the people who actually launch them - it'[s not like there are a bunch of switches in the Oval Office.) 2) Does the US have enough nuclear weapons to wipe Afganistan off the face of the Earth? (No. Trump vastly over-estimates the destructiveness of nuclear weapons. The largest active US nuclear warhead is the B83 at ~1.2 Mt per Wikipedia, which has a radius of total destruction of about 1km... – jamesqf Jun 12 '20 at 5:10
  • ...The US currently has ~3800 nuclear weapons. Assuming they're all B83s, and exaggerating the area of total destructiveto to 100 km^2, that's 380,000 km^2, while the land area of Afganistan is 652,237 km^2. So no, not possible. – jamesqf Jun 12 '20 at 5:15
  • What exactly do you mean by "wipe off the face of the earth"? It would leave a big hole in the ground wouldn't it? – WS2 Jun 12 '20 at 6:02

Browse other questions tagged .