US Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb For The First Time On ISIS In Afghanistan

Tyler Durden's picture

At roughly 7pm local time on Thursday, the United States military used its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed “the mother of all bombs,” for the first time in combat. The US Air Force used it in Afghanistan to target Islamic State tunnels and personnel. The 21,000-pound (9,525 kg) bomb was dropped in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan.

The Pentagon confirmed the use of the MOAB, and is currently assessing damage. General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on its use, CNN reported. Authority was also sought from General Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM). The Air Force “took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties,” CENTCOM added.

“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,” CENTCOM said in a statement, referring to Islamic State Khorasan, the branch of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

The Air Force developed the MOAB in 2003 during the Iraq war, but it had never been used in combat until Thursday. The Pentagon produced 15 MOABs at a cost of $16 million per unit, according to military information website Deagel.  The use of the bomb comes as the US involvement in Afghanistan heads into its 16th year in the fall, and days after Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar, a US Special Forces operator, was killed in the same region.

"The soldier was mortally wounded late Saturday during an operation in Nangarhar Province," US Navy Captain Bill Salvin tweeted.

The MOAB was designed to target large below-ground areas. It would have “feel like a nuclear weapon to anyone near the area," Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona (ret.) told CNN. The GPS-guided munition would have already been in country before it was dropped out of an MC-130 aircraft, operated by Air Force Special Operations Command, military sources told CNN’s Barbara Starr.

Nicholson described the MOAB as “the right munition to reduce” the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), bunkers and tunnels IS is using to “thicken their defense.” The bomb will also “maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K,” he said.

President Donald Trump told reporters that he's given the military "total authorization," and "that's why they've been so successful lately." When asked if the use of the MOAB in Afghanistan might send a message to North Korea amid increased tensions with the isolated country, Trump replied: "I don't know if it sends a message, I don't care if it does or not."

A peace conference on Afghanistan is scheduled to begin on Friday in Moscow, involving the Afghan government and representatives of twelve other nations. The US was invited to the conference, but reportedly declined to participate.

Below is a video of the bomb in action.

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BaBaBouy's picture

they call him "Itchy fingers" ...

THUMP 'er ...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It took a long time to develop this 'large' bomb. And an even longer time to decide to actually use it.

The only purpose of power is to use it.

NoDebt's picture

This is just the "warm up" round.  


Troy Ounce's picture



Well Dump, I am impressed. you sure must have the biggest balls of them all.

What happened when you were young? 



Luc X. Ifer's picture

Where is the ROI of the 10+ years of US at war?! Is in the pocket of the citizens who give the votes for an agenda, is their life better?! No, all data shows that US citizens quality of life declined constantly and abruptly these 10+ years, so, then who's really cashing in the ROI?! Rethoric /sarc

Manthong's picture

There is so much hot air already in Washington DC that you could drop a dozen MOABs over the Capitol Building and no one would even notice it.


Manthong's picture

And, um… don’t  you have to get past all of the SAMs and MIGs to get the C-130 to drop that puppy in N Korea?


Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

Do you know how much FREE $HIT I could have had if this bomb wasn't built?!?!!? Damn!

robertsgt40's picture

Making the world safe for democracy,  one 10ton bomb at a time. 

OregonGrown's picture

How much you want to bet this bomb was "payment in full" to the "drug lords" because cIaSIS didnt want to pay the "workers" who are actually farming the fields, but paid them with the worlds biggest bomb instead!!!

The Management's picture

I remember the Russians calling theirs the "Mother-in-law of all bombs".


Creative_Destruct's picture

MO Air Blast bombing  and MO war!!! YeeeeeHaaaaahh!!!... Let's get this insane Neocon Rodeo ROLLIN' !!!

And Russia has  "Father of All Bombs", which is claimed to be four times as powerful as the MOAB!

"My bombs bigger than your bomb.."

Fun n' games on the  road to a better "Democratic" world through righteous killing.

Better approach that saves lives: have Trump and Puttin drop trow and compare. Longest wins.  Then we'll see if Rubio's "small hands" observation had predictive value. 

Mr. Universe's picture

And what happened, then? Well, in the swamp they say – that the Donald’s small hands grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of the Deep State came through, and the Donald found the strength of ten Donald's, plus two (Jared and Ivanka) !

thisandthat's picture

I'm Disappoint!

All I wanted to know is: was MadDog riding the bomb or not? Or was 'Flip-Flop' Don, Himself?

Do we need to go to CNN, for this very very vital tidbit of very very (real? fake? make your choice) news?

Donald Trump's picture
Donald Trump (not verified) thisandthat Apr 13, 2017 5:19 PM

That big ass bomb didn't impress much across the world.

Nigel Farage surely wasn't impress. And IF Trump failed to impress his old buddy, who the hell will he impress his enemies

VIDEO: Nigel Farage Certain the “Mother Of All Bombs” Won’t Beat ISIS


john doeberg's picture

He can always drop a few more.

Or was that the only one?


thisandthat's picture

Apparently there was 15, so at 16Mil a pop (boom? bust? bang?), there's still 224Mil worth of shattered windows to go. Bullish!

Manthong's picture

The MOAB is a super-sized “fuel-air"or "thermobaric" bomb that the US first used in Viet Nam.

But you do need to own the sky in order to deliver it.


Déjà view's picture


Britain’s Grand Slam, a massive 22,000-lb. “earthquake bomb” designed to crack the toughest nuts in the Third Reich. A total of 42 of the outsized weapons were used in the final two months of the war. They were dropped on German viaducts, bridges and submarine pens with devastating effect.

Heywood Jaeatme's picture

Russia did develop the god of all bombs, the tsar bomba

Manthong's picture

Didn’t Richie Valens do a song about that big Soviet nuke?

“Tizar Tizar Tizara Bomba”

Implied Violins's picture

The one I fear the most is the Godfather of All Bombs. That one collects from all the others, and atomizes horse heads.

HowdyDoody's picture

The US does not like competition in the Afghan poppy market.

PT's picture

"Look!  He speaks the International Language of Explosions!  I know that language.  Now we can communicate without the aid of an interpreter!"
"Hey!  I know that language too!"
"Me too!"
"Same here."
"Yep.  And me."
"I only know the International Language of Overt and Covert Assassinations but I'm sure that if he understands the Language of Explosions then I'll still be able to get my message through."
"This will make communication soooo much less tedious."



I am thinking that perhaps the best way to measure the effect of foreign policy is when the number of foreign and "home-grown" terrorist attacks drops to zero and when all the refugees suddenly get home-sick and decide to go home.  There may be still a few wrinkles in this metric but I'm sure we can iron them out.

PT's picture

In years to come you will be able to measure and examine the effect of this particular bomb here:


knukles's picture

"to deny ISIS operational space" (Or something like that.)
Nope.  Nuh uh. 
All it did was incinerate the garbage lying about, making clean and disinfected for the next troop of goat herders who'd probably love nothing more than to farm love goats instead of fighting alien invaders.

Manthong's picture

Don't forget planting poppies for the CIA.

Son of Loki's picture

"We re-accommodated some cave people."

Secret Weapon's picture

Should drop one on the UAL hq in Chicago.

veritas semper vinces's picture

The Russians have peace talks scheduled for tomorrow,so "we" can not let this happen

NumberNone's picture

Come on man. Each bomb costs $16million but did destroy $700 worth of horses, bicycles, and kalishnikov rifles.

TheVillageIdiot's picture

Scary that the math is about right, and makes no matter of mind in the decision making...

swmnguy's picture

There's nothing "Free" about any of it.  It's just spending decisions.  I, for one, think America would be a lot better off if we were paying for healthcare and education for everybody in America, rather than exotic killing machines.

IntTheLight's picture

Immigrants get free healthcare. Change your name and you too will be a beneficiary.

Tiwin's picture

free shit to dindus and white trash tweakers is far more noble a use of funds thatn more bombs.

Tiwin's picture

free shit to dindus and white trash tweakers is far more noble a use of funds thatn more bombs.

BrownCoat's picture

"free shit to dindus and white trash tweakers is far more noble a use of funds than more bombs."

How about leaving the money in the taxpayer's pocket?

The FSA needs to get weened from the govt teat. The sooner, the better. Unfortunately, the FSA are used to employ (the real beneficiaries of welfare programs) thousands of government workers who make their livelihood as a parasitic class.

BTW, the bomb cost $16 million. The money was already spent. It was the first of the 15 bombs to be used. The bomb happened to fall in a province where a US soldier was killed. So kinda like revenge, although, they found a military objective for the action.



researchfix's picture

"We kicked it out the back door,"

barrel bomb?

brianshell's picture

Catch 22. We did it because we could. People never change.

Lets see, we ram progressively bigger sticks in a hornets nest and then invite the hornets into our house without vetting?

Someone benefits from this chaos but it sure aint us.

Ask George SOros. Maybe he can explain it. Or ask a student of the Yenon plan.


MsCreant's picture

"Lets see, we ram progressively bigger sticks in a hornets nest and then invite the hornets into our house without vetting?"

And like Einstein's definition of insanity, we keep doing it over and over again and wondering what is wrong.

Tired of Bending Over's picture

Somehow, I don't think they really "kicked it out the back door" of a C-130.

P-51 Stiletto's picture

How else do you propose getting a 30 foot long bomb that weighs more than 10 tons on target? An A-10? And it was an MC-130 (specialized for this very sort of thing). Check out youtube videos of an AC-130 (also specialized), these are not your fathers' C-130's.

HowdyDoody's picture

An Amazon drone, obviously. It is time everything was privatized, including USAF product delivery.

HardAssets's picture

They say this bomb actually has its own Yuge testicles attached to it.

tenpanhandle's picture

Need big kick for mother of all barrels.  

P-51 Stiletto's picture

Total air superiority is totally necessary, it's almost impossible to use the manpads that we sold you when you're hiding underground... Catch-22, it's the best Catch there is!

Donald Trump's picture
Donald Trump (not verified) Manthong Apr 13, 2017 5:16 PM