US DROPS LARGEST NON-NUKE ON ISIS IN AFGHANISTAN
Obama dropped warning leaflets; Trump dropped biggest bomb
April 13, 2017
US forces dropped their largest non-nuclear bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan Thursday.
The Pentagon confirmed dropping a 21,600 pound GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), described as the Mother of All Bombs, on ISIS tunnels and personnel in the Nangarhar province.Military officials are still working to assess the damage from the bomb, which has a 300 meter blast radius.
Here’s a video on the bomb in particular:
This marks the first time the Iraq war-era munition has ever been used on the battlefield.
More info from Wikipedia:
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB pronounced /ˈmoʊ.æb/, commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs) is a large-yield conventional (non-nuclear) bomb, developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. of the Air Force Research Laboratory. At the time of development, it was touted as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed. The bomb was designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants.
Since then, Russia has tested its “Father of All Bombs”, which is claimed to be four times as powerful as the MOAB.
MOAB was first tested with the explosive tritonal on 11 March 2003, on Range 70 located at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It was again tested on 21 November 2003.
Aside from two test articles, the only known production is of 15 units at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in 2003 in support of the Iraq War. As of early 2007, none of those were known to have been used, although a single MOAB was moved to the Persian Gulf area in April 2003.
On April 13, 2017, a MOAB was dropped on a target in the Nangarhar Province inside Afghanistan. It was the first non-testing use of the bomb.
The basic operational concept bears some similarity to the BLU-82 Daisy Cutter, which was used to clear heavily wooded areas in the Vietnam War and in Iraq to clear mines and later as a psychological weapon against the Iraqi military. After the psychological impact of the BLU-82 on enemy soldiers was witnessed, and no BLU-82 weapons remained, the MOAB was developed partly to continue the ability to intimidate Iraqi soldiers. Pentagon officials had suggested their intention to use MOAB as an anti-personnel weapon, as part of the “shock and awe” strategy integral to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The MOAB is not a penetrator weapon and is primarily intended for soft to medium surface targets covering extended areas and targets in a contained environment such as a deep canyon or within a cave system. However, multiple strikes with lower yield ordnance may be more effective and can be delivered by fighter/bombers such as the F-16 with greater stand-off capability than the C-130 and C-17. High altitude carpet-bombing with much smaller 230-to-910-kilogram (500 to 2,000 lb) bombs delivered via heavy bombers such as the B-52, B-2, or the B-1 is also highly effective at covering large areas.
The U.S. military on Thursday dropped a massive 21,600-pound bomb in Afghanistan targeting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters in a series of cave complexes.
At 7:32 p.m., a U.S. MC-130 aircraft dropped the bomb – the U.S.’s largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat – in Achin district in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan.
It was the first time the bomb, known as the GBU-43, or “Massive Ordnance Air Blast,” was used in combat. It has a yield of 11 tons of TNT, and is nicknamed the “Mother of All Bombs.”
The bomb targeted ISIS’s Afghan affiliate, ISIS-Khorasan, “as part of ongoing efforts” to defeat the group in 2017, according to a statement from U.S. Forces – Afghanistan.
“The strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities,” the statement said.
The U.S. “took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike,” the statement also said.
The U.S. commander of forces in Afghanistan said the massive bomb was used since ISIS-K has thickened their defense.
“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using [improvised explosive devices], bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” said Army Gen. John W. Nicholson. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
It is not clear whether it was planned under the Obama administration or the Trump administration.
Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said the plan to drop the bomb has been in the works for a “few months,” and that the bomb had been in the country for “some time.”
President Donald Trump did not say whether he authorized the bombing, but said he has authorized the military, implying that senior military leaders had the authority to use the bomb:
Everybody knows exactly what happened. What I do is I authorize my military. We havethe greatest military in the world and they’ve done a job as usual. We have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing and frankly that’s why they’ve been so successful lately.
“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. So we have incredible leaders in the military, and we have incredible military. We are very proud of them. This was another very, very successful mission.
As for whether the dropping of the MOAB was meant to send a message to North Korea, Trump replied:
I don’t know if this sends a message, it doesn’t make any difference if it does or not. North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of.
The MOAB is GPS-guided with precision guidance. It was designed to put pressure on then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s military, according to an Air Force article.
“The goal is to have the pressure be so great that Saddam Hussein cooperates,” then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a March 2003 interview, according to the article. “Short of that – an unwillingness to cooperate – the goal is to have the capabilities of the coalition so clear and so obvious that there is an enormous disincentive for the Iraqi military to fight against the coalition.”
The MOAB’s final test was on March 11, 2003. It was first delivered into theater on April 1, 2003.
This post is a breaking news story. It has been updated to reflect developing information after publishing.