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U.S. unleashes 'mother of all bombs' for first time in Afghanistan


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U.S. unleashes 'mother of all bombs' for first time in Afghanistan

By Idrees Ali

REUTERS

 

r1.jpg

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb is pictured in this undated handout photo. Elgin Air Force Base/Handout via REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States dropped "the mother of all bombs," the largest non-nuclear device it has ever unleashed in combat, on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, the military said.

 

President Donald Trump touted the bombing as evidence of a more muscular U.S. foreign policy since he took office in January after eight years of President Barack Obama.

 

Graphic - U.S. drops massive bomb in Afghanistan: USA-AFGHANISTAN.jpg

 

The 21,600 pound (9,797 kg) GBU-43 bomb, which has 11 tons of explosives, was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.

 

The GBU-43, also known as the "mother of all bombs," is a GPS-guided munition and was first tested in March 2003. It is regarded as particularly effective against clusters of targets on or just underneath the ground. Other types of bombs can be more effective against deeper, hardened tunnels.

 

It was the first time the United States has used this size of conventional bomb in a conflict.

 

Trump described the bombing as a "very successful mission.” It was not immediately clear how much damage the device did.

 

During last year's presidential election campaign, Trump vowed to give priority to destroying Islamic State, which operates mostly in Syria and Iraq. He flexed U.S. military muscles last week by ordering a cruise missile attack on a Syrian government airbase in retaliation for a poison gas attack.

 

"If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what’s happened over the last eight years, you’ll see that there’s a tremendous difference," Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.

 

The security situation remains precarious in Afghanistan, with a number of militant groups trying to claim territory more than 15 years after the U.S. invasion which toppled the Taliban government.

 

So far, Trump has offered little clarity about a broader strategy for Afghanistan, where some 8,400 U.S. troops remain.

 

LONG AFGHAN WAR

 

Last week, a U.S. soldier was killed in the same district as where the bomb was dropped while he was conducting operations against Islamic State.

 

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the bombing "targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target U.S. military advisers and Afghan forces in the area."

 

Spicer said the bomb was dropped at around 7 p.m. local time and described it as "a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon." U.S. forces took "all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage," he said.

 

Afghan soldiers and police, with the aid of thousands of foreign military advisers, are struggling to hold off a resurgent insurgency led by the Taliban, as well as other groups like Islamic State.

 

The U.S. government's top watchdog on Afghanistan said earlier this year that the Afghan government controls less than 60 percent of the country.

 

Foreign policy experts said that it appeared the use of a specialized weapon like the GBU-43 had more to do with the type of target -- tunnels -- than the United States sending any message to other countries by using such a powerful weapon.

 

"This is a very specialized weapon, we don't have very many of them, you can only use them in a very narrow set of circumstances," said Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

 

Cancian added that while sending a message to Syria or North Korea could have been among the secondary factors considered, they would not have been the main reason for using this type of weapon.

 

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the use of this bomb was a sign that the United States was committed to Afghanistan.

 

But Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat who was the only "no" vote for authorization for use of military force in Afghanistan in 2001, said the move was unprecedented and asked for an explanation.

 

"President Trump owes the American people an explanation about his escalation of military force in Afghanistan and his long-term strategy to defeat ISIS," she said in a statement.

 

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said recently that he needed several thousand more international troops in order to break a stalemate in the long war with Taliban insurgents.

 

U.S. officials say intelligence suggests Islamic State is based overwhelmingly in Nangarhar and neighbouring Kunar province.

 

Estimates of its strength in Afghanistan vary. U.S. officials have said they believe the movement has only 700 fighters but Afghan officials estimate it has about 1,500.

 

The Afghan Taliban, which is trying to overthrow the U.S.-backed government in Kabul, are fiercely opposed to Islamic State and the two group have clashed as they seek to expand territory and influence.

 

(Reporting by Idrees Ali. Additional reporting by Steve Holland, Patricia Zengerle and Will Dunham.; Editing by Alistair Bell)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-04-14
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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Trump described the bombing as a "very successful mission.” It was not immediately clear how much damage the device did.

And how can he conclude that it was very successful when they don't yet know how much damage it caused?

It may not have collapsed any of the tunnels, so could actually be a complete failure.

1 hour ago, webfact said:

Spicer said the bomb was dropped at around 7 p.m. local time and described it as "a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon." U.S. forces took "all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage," he said.

Given the size of explosion this would cause, how exactly does it kill Taliban, but not civilians? I wish sometimes Donald and Spicer would give some thought to the nonsense they spout.

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Maybe initially this was earmarked for Syria and after the meetings with the Russians, a compromise was reached in which the Russians would allow them to drop their bomb, but only on Nakhon Nowhere in Afghanistan.

The Russians did seem to be noticeably more happy yesterday. So it seems we have a situation in which Trump is hell bent on using the biggest toys he has, but the Russians still have a lot of leverage in telling him where they might be used.

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Well, Trump is simply following the archetype political ruse--if your popularity numbers are down, create a situation which identifies someone to blame; then, take an action against that someone your constituents will support. 

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1 hour ago, darksidedog said:

And how can he conclude that it was very successful when they don't yet know how much damage it caused?

It may not have collapsed any of the tunnels, so could actually be a complete failure.

Given the size of explosion this would cause, how exactly does it kill Taliban, but not civilians? I wish sometimes Donald and Spicer would give some thought to the nonsense they spout.

Because the site is in the middle of nowhere in rocky mountains, on top of ISIS tunnels. Either you wage a war seriously or withdraw. It's not a game or a drawing room discussion by armchair apologists for caliphate savages.

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The US Congress ran the war in Nam, with so many "" restrictions "" the war was lost.

 

Let the Generals run a war, not a bunch of politically connected idiots ( Congress ), with ( in the case of the US ) the President having the last word - sorry to say that Mr Obama empowered ISIS - et al, with his running the military the way he and his advisors telling the military what to do, and, almost destroyed the US military with the monetary cuts.

 

War is mans greatest crime, except when used against evil

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The bomb actually weighs 22,600 lbs and has a yield of 11 tons of TNT. That does not mean it has 11 tons of TNT in the bomb. It is filled with 18,700 lbs of H6

 

Composition H6 is a castable military explosive compound composed of the following percentages by weight:

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9 minutes ago, Rdrokit said:

The bomb actually weighs 22,600 lbs and has a yield of 11 tons of TNT. That does not mean it has 11 tons of TNT in the bomb. It is filled with 18,700 lbs of H6

 

Composition H6 is a castable military explosive compound composed of the following percentages by weight:

For transport and storage calculations we measured ordinance in NEQ (Net Explosive Quantity) for separation to avoid chain reaction. At a military ordinace depot they had storage buildings with fixed separation so had to limit the ordanance stored in each building. it seemed strange to go into some buildings and see boxes stacked to the ceiling, then another that had just a handful of pallets and lots of empty space. With aircraft we could adjust the distance between airframes accordingly.

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22 minutes ago, saminoz said:

This is very advanced technology!!  Look at how they allegedly pack 11 tons of explosives into a 21,600 pound weapon.  Even a US "short ton" weighs 2,000 lb, thus 22,000 lb just for the explosives!

 

If they can't get their weights right, how are we supposed to believe in the accuracy of their targeting?

 

Dumb yanks led by an appropriately dumb idiot.

Net explosive weight is normally given as a TNT equivalent amount. It allows comparisons for different explosive types. Efficient explosives pack more punch than the same weight of actual TNT (i.e. C4 plastic explosive and many others).  So in this particular case it appears the "yanks" are not dumb. I wonder if this also makes their leader appropriately less of a "dumb idiot", but I think I already know your answer to that, but in the big scheme of American politics it doesn't matter because you don't get a vote (unless you are a "yank").

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Only previously testedon ranges, but now it has established credentials having been tasted in combat.

In 1991 as we went to war in Iraq the MOD rushed the new JP233 Runway Denial Bomb into service so that it could hold the 'Used in Combat' badge of honour and therefore make it easier to sell. You can expect to see MOAB sales being pushed on the back of this!

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17 minutes ago, edwardflory said:

The US Congress ran the war in Nam, with so many "" restrictions "" the war was lost.

 

Let the Generals run a war, not a bunch of politically connected idiots ( Congress ), with ( in the case of the US ) the President having the last word - sorry to say that Mr Obama empowered ISIS - et al, with his running the military the way he and his advisors telling the military what to do, and, almost destroyed the US military with the monetary cuts.

 

War is mans greatest crime, except when used against evil

The problem goes back to the United States war against Communism. The CIA backed Saddam Hussein to take over Iraq and oust a Communist leader. This gave them access to the oil fields. They then removed Saddam Hussein by invading Iraq illegally under the false pretext of WMDs, but really because Saddam was about to let the Russians get the lucrative oil contracts. The US Vietnam war was against Communism also. The CIA financed the training of Osama Bin Laden and his terrorists in Pakistan and sent them as terrorists to fight the Russians. US Catholics financed the IRA terrorists who were killing, maiming and blowing buildings up in the UK for 30 years or more. Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda went on to carry out 9/11 then later gave rise to ISIS. ISIS was not empowered by Obama, but by the American people who voted for all the US politicians who helped create these Islamic extremist terrorists to fight the Russians in Afghanistan a longtime before Obama. Dropping bombs is never going to defeat the Islamic extremist terrorists that the United States created. The only solution is a diplomatic one as was the case between the Irish Catholic and Protestant extremists.

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14 minutes ago, FracturedRabbit said:

Spending millions to drop a bomb on a complex upon which millions were spent on construction. .....

C9VVKeCXoAAI5ge.jpg_large.jpeg

Great post, I have been reminding Americans that Obama, nor Hilary created Al Qaeda or ISIS. It goes back to the fight against Communism in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was trained as a Terrorist by the Pakistani Army, financed by the USA, which led to Al Qaeda and later to the creation of ISIS/ISIL. I remember Tora Bora was financed by the CIA and also that they conveniently failed to capture Bin Laden there after 9/11.

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an old style long ongoing usa business tactic...create a enemy...(clinton carter creating terror camps in afghanistan in the eightys inviting all the unhappy arab youths ( because of low economy caused by usa supporting the saudi family and all the other creeps  dictators ) ...creating loss for the russians but creating win for the so called terrorists...later lie to the world and create a war in irak continiou in afghanistsn etc etc ) as terrorists get old and slower a new generation comes to power voila isis is here ) now use a 16 mio monster to destroy some caves in the end of the world ...etc..etc work in progress...final 2 questions : who pays for all this uneccesary shit ? usa workers ..( besides that a heroin sidelines business popped up run by the cia that they started in vietnam another old story )..question 2 who is earning big bucks since about 30 years cause self created work in progress : the usa weapon industrie run by trumps, clinton bushs , buddies ...now trump forces europe to invest in security = buy guns from usa war industrial and use them as u like...people forced o accept cause of ,of course ,self created terrorists...and if they are to slow a cia specialists team kindly help out planting a metro bomb etc etc...to bring these bloody pacificts in line  ...whatreat world these people created....

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3 hours ago, cmsally said:

Maybe initially this was earmarked for Syria and after the meetings with the Russians, a compromise was reached in which the Russians would allow them to drop their bomb, but only on Nakhon Nowhere in Afghanistan.

The Russians did seem to be noticeably more happy yesterday. So it seems we have a situation in which Trump is hell bent on using the biggest toys he has, but the Russians still have a lot of leverage in telling him where they might be used.

The difference between Trump and Obama is, Trump let's the military run the battles. Obama tried to do it and all he got was a chuckle from the upper echelon.

I really doubt Moscow is giving any direction to the Top Brass on how and where to conduct warfare. Unless you are positively certain the "Russians still have a lot of leverage in telling him where they might be used" you might want to keep silliness to yourself.

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54 minutes ago, Xaos said:

Russian Father of all bombs is 4x stronger.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-father-of-all-bombs-russias-answer-to-the-moab-2017-4

 

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Hopefully they'll be able to hit the target properly.  Or are cows deadly enemies?:cheesy:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/10/07/these-are-the-cruise-missiles-russia-just-sent-into-syria/?utm_term=.e1ae1d22b0eb

Quote

Pentagon: Some Russian cruise missiles crashed in Iran

.

Reports on Iranian TV indicated that an “unidentified flying object” had crashed and exploded in a village near near the Iranian city of Takab. A number of cows were killed in the ensuing blast. 

 

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2 hours ago, JoePai said:

Yes, like the idiots did in the Vietnam war and failed miserably   :bah:

Why countries lose wars is to much media to many bleeding hearts. Go in kick butt let is know when it is over ot would take Months not years. Go take a hill then abandon it is why America lost. Keep politicians out let the military do what they do and wars won't last year's and years

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4 hours ago, edwardflory said:

The US Congress ran the war in Nam, with so many "" restrictions "" the war was lost.

 

Let the Generals run a war, not a bunch of politically connected idiots ( Congress ), with ( in the case of the US ) the President having the last word - sorry to say that Mr Obama empowered ISIS - et al, with his running the military the way he and his advisors telling the military what to do, and, almost destroyed the US military with the monetary cuts.

 

War is mans greatest crime, except when used against evil

And, do you think that Vietnam and its people were 'evil'? 

 

Who gets to decided who is evil and who is good?  Many countries and people think America is evil.  America seems to be the one country which lives by war... and makes nice jobs and profit out of it while doing so. 

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