Why Did the US Test an Outdated Bomb in Mountains of Afghanistan?

The U.S. Military, apparently eager to test a huge out-dated bomb – anacronym “MOAB” for “Mother Of All Bombs” – dropped one for the first time in the sparsely populated mountains of Afghanistan this week.

The goal was apparently to fulfill Trump’s earlier campaign promise to ~”Bomb the hell out of ISIS.”

Unfortunately ISIS probably didn’t notice – or it’s members – spread out all over Asia, Africa, the Mid-East, Europe, and apparently the U.S. – were likely all shaking their heads and laughing.

Why? Because, if ISIS really exists as a coherent entity, clearly the MOAB is exactly the wrong way to deal with the MOADE (Mother Of All Decentralized Entities.)

Hopefully his advisers know this and  were just shining Mr. Trump on — or just curious to see what their outdated toy looked like in action.   Surely they know that sort of centralized destruction is nearly worthless — and certainly not cost effective – against decentralized 4th Generation Warfare.

On the bright side,  connected with the relatively benign and strangely ineffective Sarin-gas-excused attack on the Syrian air strip, perhaps this is Trump-The-Negotiator attempting to establish his POTUS credentials as willing killer with a minimum loss of life.

On the other hand, there’s a good chance it’s just one more example of abysmal government incompetence.

What do you think?


47 thoughts on “Why Did the US Test an Outdated Bomb in Mountains of Afghanistan?”

  1. The point of the bomb was to send a violent message to Russia and China and to terrify the populations of those countries into submission. In other words, it was an act of international terrorism.

    1. That makes sense, maybe with a few tweaks. One could see it as demonstrating the new doctrine: ‘watch out, we’re dangerous and unpredictable’, a more extreme version of the doctrine that was written down under Bill Clinton. The claim ‘we killed 36 terrorists’ seems like pulled out of thin air.

      The private message is then: we’re not really mad, we just think it’s smart to act that way.

      1. No, it doesn’t make sense and the comrade is better than that. Unless he was trying out some sarcasm.

    2. Not very bloody likely that a large bomb of that sort is even going to be noticed by Russia or China. That’s just plain stupic comrade, if it’s not sarcasm?

          1. Simple. Terrorism as defined by the State Department and by the various police agencies is a valid charge, at least to the various agencies, whether the attacks or attempts or threats thereof actually cause the desired ends of the terrorists. If I were to threaten somebody and immediately fall down and wake up in a hospital bed with restraints and some impressively large wounds, I would still be charged with making terroristic threats. For all legal purposes, you don’t have to be successful in terrorism, whether it actually does any damage or creates terror in the target population.

            An attempt is called Terrorism with or without the desired effects.

    3. No, just American thinking inside the box, combined with too much bravado that prevents you from seeing reality.

      The fact is, China has N.Korea’s back. Russia has China’s back, China has Russia’s back, and Russia is secure in it’s position of having a nuclear threat equal to the US.

    4. Trump would easily be stupid enough to think that could work comrade, but not those who actually make the foreign policy decisions on the choice of weapons.

      It’s important that you think it through comrade if you are thinking of becoming a writer. Each mistake is a strike, in US language.

      And also, while I have your attention. How about getting on Raimondo when he falls for the demonizing propaganda on Kim and Bashar? It’s not for him and his audience. It’s for the stupid people who buy into it regularly and use it for more wars.

    5. One bomb (the wrong one for the job btw) wouldn’t scare China or Russia, which has a bigger one. So, either abysmal incompetence – thermobaric, air blast weapon to attack underground targets?? – or a throw away PR show of obsolete ordnance, $16,000,000 fire cracker + delivery costs to kill a few goats, humans and vermin. US stupidity is setting new standards.

    6. The Germans, who should be the experts on air bombardment – from both ends – were never impressed by the size of the bang as much as by the frequency of them. That’s why they didn’t like Russian artillery much, either.

      The rapidity of the strikes on Saddam’s palace was the impressive part – along with his AA defensive fire.

  2. Thé MOAB has Bern used in Afghanistan once earlier towards bin Laden in the mountains… It is all about a low-cost opportunity to demonstrate US-power… Please save some MOABs for north-Chorea!

    1. That was actually a fuel-air bomb, ddayperspective. I THINK the MOAB is actually a more conventional chemical explosives munition, but I could be wrong.

      1. If your car gets 20 mpg and weighs a ton or so… then your car is taken a block or so on about a teaspoon of gas. I’m not doing my math as well as usual today. Must be the pain medicine. I tried to convert all that to metric for the more civilized and advanced neighbors. all I could remember clearly is 8 km is equal to 5 miles.And our ton is lighter than theirs. But yeah, there’s a lot of potato-cannon fanatics who swear by gasoline. Like the dippity doo commercial (hair grease in the 60s) A little dab will do you.

        My favorite potato cannon fans are Lefty and Stub.
        but, yeah. fuel air mix is da bomb. I’m glad I didn’t have to take responsibility for that line.

  3. This is a repeat of Bush’s Shock And Awe nonsense. Supposedly we were sending a signal to Persia by pointlessly hitting Iraq. Now we’re sending a signal to NoKo by pointlessly hitting Afghanistan.

    We can’t actually bomb Persia or NoKo because both of them have some nukes, so we kill a few million innocent people elsewhere to indicate for the record that we’re unhappy with Persia and NoKo.

  4. It was just an expensive wankfest by a President who is probably infatuated with and itching to try as many of the Pentagon’s penis-extenders as he possibly can. However the hawks probably didn’t try too hard to talk him out of it, they might want to play up the image of the irresponsible, unstable Commander-in-Chief who’s quick to resort to dramatic & disproportionate measures, and see if it has any intimidation value.

    1. Interesting idea! The act of a 6 year old president. Something Americans would expect the fully demonized Kim to do. But which he isn’t doing at all.

    2. Luv “penis-extenders!” And that IS the appropriate image suggested by “Games Theory” – – –

    1. Maybe if ‘we’ had a bomb that would make a molehill out of a mountain…

      on the brighter side, Trump and co. are still calling Kim a spoiled over privileged emotionally disturbed sociopath who throws tantrums when he’s criticized. Maybe it’s a balancing factor… My army can beat up your army type of device.

      1. The good part of Afghanistan was a lack of the vegetation in which the Vietnamese managed to escape the full force of America’s airborne warfighters. The wide open spaces were to guarantee targets that could be seen, and hit. Sadly the mountains that had stopped the Russians, stopped the USAF as well although the US tried, valiantly, to bomb the Hindu Kush back into the Cenozoic Era.

        1. Since they didn’t start the war it would be a kind gesture that they didn’t get bombed into the stone age. They’re in their own country and according to U.S. and British propaganda they’re uneducated in the western sense and your average mountain man wouldn’t be able to locate New York City or London if you gave him a strictly terrain-features map with any city name obscured.

          Of course, a huge percent of the people with whom I have associated and broke bread it Texas or Colorado wouldn’t be able to find Iran, Afghanistan or New York either the state or the city. London and Moscow and Beijing are out of their geopolitical grasp as well.

          A lot of them are aware of their lack of geographic expertise, but then there are those who know nothing of any of this will still stand up cheer if one of ‘them thar towelhead Ay-rab countries” got bombed.

          They wouldn’t be able to locate Vietnam on the map either, unless they were sent there in the Draft.

          The difference, I think anyway, is there are people who are very well endowed with the knowledge of How to be Human and a good neighbor to somebody they never met. And some aren’t and won’t be even if they got a doctorate in Geopolitics.

    2. “Mountain out of a molehille” – – – this is the operational part of the post:

      if ISIS really exists as a coherent entity, clearly the MOAB is exactly the wrong way to deal with the MOADE (Mother Of All Decentralized Entities.)

      Hopefully his advisers know this and were just shining Mr. Trump on —
      or just curious to see what their outdated toy looked like in action.
      Surely they know that sort of centralized destruction is nearly
      worthless — and certainly not cost effective – against decentralized 4th Generation Warfare.

  5. There’s no reason for the US to be in Afghanistan in the first place- at least not as a military expedition. If we thought OBL was hiding out there, we should have pursued him- alone- as a law enforcement operation, to bring him to trial for his alleged involvement in 9/11. The Taliban offered to give him up but their request for proof of OBL’s guilt was apparently too high a price.

    As far as the use of the MOAB, sure it makes for a great television clip but for practical purposes we spent almost half a million dollars killing each of the reported casualties in a strike on a target that had no real military value. Is that really a good return on our investment?

  6. News reports that it was a launch by field commanders without first summoning Trump. It’s a lot like the Dr Strangelove farce. Which was written to be a farce. Who would be that stupid as to give an air force general or .. even a Lt Colonel… could take that kind of action… would even believe that he can do so, and wants to do so… you know the ones, shouldn’t be trusted with anything more dangerous than string… and some of them shouldn’t be trusted with the string… I used to think, long ago, that the Mighty mighty Air Force would, I don’t know, if there was a magic method to determine if somebody is Crazy As A Shit-House Rat and probably dangerous?

  7. Because the attack in Syria was MOAP or “Mother of all Pinpricks”. The world now knows that our administration has MOAB and MOAP on the table.

  8. If you have the MOAB in inventory you might as well test it on a real battlefield and see what it can do. All the better if you intend to use it in a different battlefield.

  9. This was to demonstrate to North Korea and Iran that their subterranean facilities are at risk. Nothing more nothing less.

  10. They’re clearing the ammo bunkers in preparation for the new, humane, lo-yield nuke.

  11. Why? For the same reason that the perverted old man in the park is compelled to expose himself to young women.

  12. The War proponents have their own tame press to spread their garbage. The words Broadcast and Propaganda took on their modern usage only about a century ago. But they both mean the same thing with two different language groups. Broadcasting is the way you throw seeds all over the ground, usually from a basket or pouch. That’s in germanic languages. Propaganda means planting the seeds. So the seeds being spread by the tame press is that the Afghans are all wildly in favor of the U.S. using even more of this kind of bombing. Or at least their U.S. appointed ‘leaders’.

  13. HAVE BOMB, MUST DROP. It is the US version of a massive constipation treatment. We can fire up a plane drop, and maybe get some data useful somewhere down the line , or pay some contractor umpteen bucks to disarm the big mutha.

    1. We have exactly that at the junction of Fremont, Pueblo and El Paso Counties here in Colorado. A huge freakin’ stockpile that’s too expensive to maintain, forbidden by treaty to actually use and too expensive and dangerous to dismantle. Nerve Gas. Nominally it’s on Ft Carson. There’s one in either Alabama or Mississippi, don’t recall which but it has a history of a) leaking and b) the Pentagon has lawyers and other propagandists to reassure that any deaths suspected from it were mere coincidences and can’t be reliably traced.

      The industrial waste nightmare is also spread over the entire land. Energy Transfer Partners have leaked fracking fluid and crude oil from their existing pipelines, like the ones in the Houston area and the Dallas Ft Worth Metroplex which has 42 municipialities in just one of the four central counties of the Metroplex. At the corners of Dallas, Denton, Tarrant and Collin Counties there are three towns, Roanoke, Trophy Club and Marshall Creek. My brother used to live in Marshall Creek. By far the poorest of the three. They had what is called a Sweet Well. It’s now recognized as one of the places you can light the municipal water on fire. And thats just the crap that’s NOT designed to kill people.

      Millions of people near enough to the unmaintainable (wow, the spell checker which is not the same as a hex editor actually recognized that word) Nerve gas repositories, that’s millions near each single repository, no funds to disarm them because the available ‘defense’ funds are being poured into buying new shiny bombs. Just toss the unused ones in a corner and maybe we’ll pick it up later.

      It’s our national Governmental and Private Enterprise ethic.

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