Alex Plitsas is a U.S Army combat veteran and a national security professional specializing in counterterrorism and special operations policy. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan both in uniform and as a defense department civilian.
History was made today after the United States military reportedly dropped a GBU-43/B, affectionately known as a MOAB or Mother of All Bombs, for the first time in combat against ISIS in Afghanistan. Those who witnessed the attack on the ground wont soon forget it and anyone inside the blast radius is no longer with us.
The U.S. was reportedly targeting an ISIS tunnel network along the border with Pakistan that may have contained as many as 600 ISIS fighters.
The MOAB was designed to both kill and intimidate America's foes. The massive explosion generated by an 11 ton explosive air blast yield is enough to level soft targets and kill anything that breathes in a 300 meter radius – that’s three footballs fields!
It was first tested almost a decade and a half ago but it was never used in combat until today.
The MOAB was designed after a similar but smaller bomb called the BLU-82 or “Daisy Cutter” which was used extensively in Vietnam to clear large areas of jungle to create landing pads and scare the hell out of the Vietcong. It was thought that the MOAB would be used during the “shock and awe” bombing campaign at the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, but it never happened.
It is likely that the U.S. military chose to use the MOAB for the first time today because of the high concentration of ISIS fighters in confined underground spaces. The bomb would have allowed the US military to kill all of the ISIS fighters in the tunnels and render them inoperable without risking the lives of any US forces on the ground. Under those conditions, using the MOAB is a wise decision and hopefully one that ISIS will remember.
As a result, ISIS just might realize its days on the face of this earth are numbered.
You can watch a test drop of a MOAB here and witness the sheer amount of America that was just dropped on ISIS.