first published on April 14, 2017 by Will
The DOD has wasted no time in releasing the footage of the first ever MOAB strike conducted in battle. They released the footage with the following statement:
“A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb strikes ISIS-K cave and tunnel systems in the Achin district of the Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan at 7:32 p.m. local time Thursday. The strike was designed to minimize risk to Afghan and U.S. Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities and eliminate any perceived safe haven for ISIS-K in Afghanistan.”
The airstrike targeted a massive cave tunnel complex being used by the insurgents that allowed them to move freely without detection from the air and gave them the ability to attack coalition troops with minimal risk to themselves. The MOAB was used because it causes overpressure, resulting in the collapse of tunnels and caves. The DOD estimates that at least 36 Islamic State fighters were killed in the strike, and due to the remoteness or the site, no civilians were effected.
The footage is underwhelming if you don’t know what to look for or do not understand the mountainous topography presented in the video. There isn’t much there for scale, and the thermal imaging does little to clarify anything. You just have to accept that you are looking at the detonation of the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat. Cross your fingers that witness videos will be hitting the internet shortly.
This strike is the second high profile US Military strike in a short period of time. Almost 60 Tomahawk missiles dominated a Syrian government airbase a week ago. Many are wondering why we would choose to use one of the few MOABs we have in order to kill just ~36 ISIS fighters. Was it retribution for the death of US Army Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar of 7th Special Forces Group, who was killed fighting in the same area just a few days ago? Or was it a successful test run for the preemptive strike on North Korea’s nuclear assets and leadership?
That answer remains to be seen, but what is clear is that after eight years of the worst foreign policy in American history, the US military is again reasserting itself as the most dominant fighting force on the planet, and our message is clear. “Don’t f*ck with us.”