US drops largest non nuclear bomb in Afghanistan

Introduction — April 13, 2017

There are currently estimated to be around 15,000 NATO troops serving in Afghanistan, of which nearly 10,000 are American. This is despite Obama’s promise to complete the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country by 2016.
Obama made that promise in 2014 but events since then have delayed their planned exit. What’s more with mounting Taliban attacks and the arrival of ISIS in Afghanistan it doesn’t look like Obama’s pledge is going to be fulfilled anytime soon.
In fact with the Taliban steadily gaining ground, pushing into areas once occupied by British forces, the Afghan war looks like it could drag on for years to come.
Making a mockery of Obama’s earlier promise, officials have announced that the U.S. has just dropped its biggest non-nuclear bomb on a cave and bunker complex near the border with Pakistan, in eastern Afghanistan.
A bunker buster, GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), being loaded at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in 2007.

A bunker buster, GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), being loaded at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in 2007. Click to enlarge

The 21,600-pound, GPS-guided ordnance was so big that it had to be dropped from the tail ramp of a Hercules transport plane; in what is now America’s 2nd longest running war, after Vietnam.
The war began with the U.S. led invasion nearly sixteen years ago and as America and its allies are currently on a losing streak, or at least engaged in protracted withdrawal, a little historical perspective may be in order.
Afghanistan was the conflict that hammered in the final nail in the Soviet Union’s coffin. That is partly why the country is often referred to as the “graveyard of empires”. Will it also see the end of Western ambitions to forge a global New World Order too? Ed.

US drops largest non nuclear bomb in Afghanistan

Barbara Star and Ryan Brown — CNN April 13, 2017

The US military has dropped an enormous bomb in Afghanistan, according to four US military officials with direct knowledge of the mission.

A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” was dropped at 7:32 pm local time Thursday, the sources said. A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb.

The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, stationed in Afghanistan and operated by Air Force Special Operations Command, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told CNN.

Officials said the target was an ISIS cave and tunnel complex and personnel in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province.

“The United States takes the fight against ISIS very seriously and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operational space, which we did,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said later Thursday. The strike “targeted a system of tunnels and cave that ISIS fighters use to move around freely.”

The military is currently assessing the damage. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on the use of the bomb, according to the sources. The authority to deploy the weapon was granted to Nicholson by the commander of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, Stump said.

This is the first time a MOAB has been used in the battlefield, according to the US officials. This munition was developed during the Iraq War.

 

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