The largest non-nuclear bomb available to the US military has been dropped on a cave complex in Afghanistan. The Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) or officially the GBU-43 has an explosive force equivalent to 11 tons of TNT.
The MOAB is nicknamed by the US military as the “mother of all bombs.”
President Trump has hailed the mission as “another very, very successful mission.” He was asked if he authorized the strike personally.
“What I do is I authorize my military,” Trump said. “We have the greatest military in the world and they’ve done their job as usual. So, we have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing.”
However, press secretary Sean Spicer declined to confirm if Trump had personally authorized the weapon’s use. Spicer said the strike was a direct attack against ISIS. The MOAB was launched against a “system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely.” Spicer claimed the military “took all precautions necessary” to minimize civilian casualties.
The MOAB was launched with the target in mind of 600 to 800 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan. Reports indicate plans for the bomb’s use in this operation were drawn up during the Obama administration, with Trump following through on his predecessor’s war plans.
Global business editor of Defense One Marcus Weisgerber told CBS it was the best suited weapon for this mission. The MOAB can “penetrate through rock and concrete and then once they get through, they explode, creating devastation to whatever is below.”
The MOAB was first tested in Florida by the US Air Force in March 2003. It was considered at the time a warning to Iraq, however was never used. The US military said Saddam Hussein’s palaces and the Iraqi Republic Guard formations were probable targets. This is the first time such a massive non-nuclear bomb has been used by the US military in combat.
The bomb, when used, billows cloud high into the sky but doesn’t resemble the cloud caused by a nuclear blast. However, during the Florida testing in 2003, the blast could be felt in nearby areas.
Some are already considering this more sabre rattling against North Korea, China and Russia.
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