The bomb weights more than F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and has been designed as a ‘bunker buster.’ The upgrades will improve the chance of bomb’s penetration into the concrete structure and will also deliver a high explosive payload. If the US military is right — and we don’t know that it is — then a significant group of ISIS fighters were holed up in a large network of caves and tunnels in a relatively remote part of Afghanistan. And was this the best way to go about doing that? Is this President Trump just following through on his campaign promise to “bomb the shit out of ISIS”? After being released from the bomber, the MOP is guided to target by a GPS navigation system and a pair of wings. Some overexcited coverage has even compared this bomb to a nuclear weapon, which nuclear experts think is completely absurd. Those aren’t optimal situations for MOAB use because of the danger of collateral damage, and the added risk created by dropping it from a cargo plane means the US military rarely has a need to use it. It’s the rare case where using a MOAB makes sense. The exercises conducted in October 2017, certainly involved targeting and eliminating the North Korean leader and his entourage with MOP. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. “This was another very, very successful mission.”. “Don't be fooled by the claim circulating in some quarters that the explosive yield of the MOAB rivals that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima,” Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, tells me. An informed public is critical right now. This is a bombing raid like all other US bombing raids, just with a somewhat novel device. It may be tempting to see this as evidence that the US is increasingly worried about ISIS’s influence in the country. On the other hand, it can also mean that the bomb will have more explosive in it to cause further damage to the underground target. “It’s a weapon that has a narrow target set,” an Air Force official told me. The Pentagon official told The Daily Beast that this had nothing to do with the Trump administration expanding its campaign against ISIS, but was the commanders call. Is the Trump administration trying to send a signal to countries like North Korea and Iran that it means business? Was the strike proportional to the threat, and did the value of the military target justify the risk of killing innocents? It has a mixture of cyclotrimethylene terinitramin, TNT, and aluminum. Since the weapon was made ready for use in 2003, the US has fought a lot of missions in densely populated urban areas and/or specifically targeting smaller enemy troop deployments. The Pentagon said U.S. military forces dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan on Thursday. “It’s primarily intended for soft to medium surface targets — targets like a cave and canyon environment.”. The fact that these questions remain unanswered, however, is normal at this point — they usually take a while to fully investigate, and we just heard about the bomb. Here’s Its Purpose, The U.S Army Is Testing Augmented Reality Goggles For Dogs, This Is What Happens Incase Of A Fire Or Flooding On A Nuclear Submarine, Check Out This Novel Concept Of A Flying Aircraft Carrier By The US Airforce, Can I Control My Wife’s Phone from My Computer, 7 Daily Habits To Help Students Save Precious Time, Elon Mask: If Tesla’s Engineering Team Designed PPE. In fact, it was at one point the biggest planned explosion of all time. Something noteworthy — and oddly hopeful — about the 2020 election: People are ignoring Trump’s antics. And that work takes resources. The mere use of a large bomb, in and of itself, is not strategically significant. An informed public is critical right now. The questions we should be asking aren’t the kinds of things you would ask in a game of Risk. But the truth appears to be closer to the opposite: ISIS’s forces have dropped by about 75 percent since their peak in late 2015, and the group has lost significant territory since then. The MOP bomb is designed to put them at risk and also destroy them when needed. “I don’t know if it this sends a message; it doesn’t make any difference if it does or does not,” Trump told reporters on Thursday. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. The obvious question, following such a high-profile show of strength, is what this means. Gen. John W. Nicholson, the top American general in Afghanistan, had the authority to use that particular munition against the Taliban since he took command in Afghanistan and against ISIS since the Obama administration granted him permission in January 2016. There’s no reason to assume this was something out of the ordinary, even though the bomb was bigger than ones typically used by the US military. Your email address will not be published. Did You Know? For another, the nature of ISIS’s presence in Afghanistan means that it actually kind of does make sense to use this bomb. “That does not mean everything within a mile dies — it means that everything within a mile has a potential to be affected. What we’ve learned from the vote count of the presidential race Wednesday. These countries have concealed their nuclear activities and delivery systems underground. This is an unprecedented election. The breathless speculation and obsession over this bomb, which you’re seeing on both social media and cable news, needs to stop. Did the strike accomplish its objectives? “If you think about what a target profile might look like in either Iran or North Korea — both of those countries have air defense systems,” Farley says. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. The 11-ton weapon was first tested in 2003 but had never been used in combat prior to Thursday — when a US MC-130 aircraft dropped one on what it claims was a network of ISIS tunnels. “There is so little trust ... in the Trump administration to make basic tactical decisions that everyone sort of assumes something crazy and weird is going on,” says Rob Farley, a professor at the University of Kentucky who studies the Air Force. As ‘ Massive Ordnance Penetrator ( OMP ) ’ d suggest not to! 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