BREAKING: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan

According to The Independent:

The US has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in the country’s arsenal on an area of eastern Afghanistan known to be populated by Islamic State militants.

The Pentagon said the strike was the first time the 21,000lb weapon had been used in combat operations.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence confirmed to The Independent that a MC-130 aircraft dropped a GBU-43 bomb at 7pm local time.

The weapon is known in the US Air Force by its nickname MOAB, or “mother of all bombs”. MOAB stands for massive ordinance air blast.

The Independent understands Donald Trump authorised the use of the bomb but commander of the US forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson signed off the order.

The President and Pentagon officials were aware of the mission ahead of time.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the US had used a “large, powerful and accurately-delivered weapon” to disrupt the movements of Isis in the country.

Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said the bomb was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by Isis fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar, close to the border with Pakistan.

The Pentagon said the mission had been in the planning stages for months. However, they “did not have the information” on whether the mission was being planned during the previous Obama administration.

Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War, had 15 kilo-tonnes of TNT. The GBU-43 has 11.

Aside from “Dear God, may You have mercy on our souls”, I don’t have many coherent reactions to this. However, I do have the following thoughts:

  • The last time someone said “mother of all” anything, that regime fell.
  • This action shows the US military’s intellectual bankruptcy in dealing with its adversaries in the greater Middle East.
  • I wonder if the bomb’s name, MOAB, has any ironic reference to the city of Moab that existed during Biblical times.
  • Even with the magnitude of the bomb’s destructive capacity, I really wonder how much this reduces ISIS’s control in eastern Afghanistan. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if their support in the area increases.

I’m sure there will be more to come on this story.


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