Charles Krauthammer argued that this particular timing to bomb ISIS suggests that the Trump administration wants to send a message to other belligerent countries:
Well, it’s curious as to why here and why now.
I suspect from what they tell us, this was an ISIS base, an ISIS tunnel, which tells you, one, that ISIS is more entrenched than we would have thought. You have this notion of ISIS being a sort of band of jihadis running around, but this is pretty entrenched. But I suspect it is because it was isolated, so you didn’t have the risk. The reason this is a hard bomb to use is because the radius is half a mile, and you are likely to catch civilians and innocents in the blast. So this may be because of the isolation. But I think you’re right, there is also a message here. After all, this was developed in 2003. So, we’re 14 years later, why now? I think we are trying to send a message particularly to the North Koreans, perhaps also the Iranians. They are developing nukes, the nukes are buried, they are intended to be in places that are highly reinforced, and this is a way of saying, “We can get there.” And if you do it in an isolated place in Afghanistan against public enemy No. 1 in the world, ISIS, it’s a way to demonstrate the efficacy of the bomb.