For the first time in history, America has dropped the largest conventional (aka non-nuclear) bomb during a combat mission. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb otherwise known as the Mother of All Bombs or MOAB was first developed in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.
The MOAB is the second most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the world, the most powerful being Russia’s Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power, developed and tested in first in 2007. Russia has never used its so-called ‘Father of All Bombs’ in combat.
It has been tested previously, but today it was dropped on alleged ISIS targets in eastern Afghanistan, the Achin district of Nangarhar Province.
This seems to be yet another example of Donald Trump’s newfound militancy wherein the gun-slinging military-industrial complex seems to be having an increasing free reign.
By contrast, under Obama intelligence agencies and subversive NGOs were the preferred method of demonstrating declining US hegemony.
By any definition, the MOAB is a weapon of mass destruction. It is unclear how many civilians were killed in the blast but it would be unsurprising if the numbers were not high.
Even in the unlikely event that every causality of the MOAB drop was an ISIS fighter, this WMD seems to be totally excessive in the context of fighting a poorly armed terrorist group in a country that isn’t even the major stronghold of ISIS.
This represents one of two big military actions by Donald Trump’s administration, the first being the missile attack on Syria from last week.
Both attacks are similar in the sense that they would appear to have more symbolic value than actual military or strategic value.
It seems like Trump is trying to send a message to North Korea, a bit like what North Korea does when firing and testing its weapons. The difference is that unlike many North Korean weapons, American weapons generally work. This makes them much more dangerous.
CNN has reported that General John Nicholson authorised the use of the MOAB in Afghanistan.