It had never been used in a military operation before today.
It costs $16 million.
It contains 11 tons of explosives.
It was dropped today in a remote area of Afghanistan and in an area populated with ISIS fighters.
It’s not called the Mother of All Bombs for nothing. The New York Daily News reports that when this MOAB was most recently tested, it
reportedly produced a plume of smoke that rose more than 10,000 feet in the air and was visible 40 miles away in Pensacola.
“It looked like a big mushroom cloud filled with flames as it grew and grew and grew,” base spokesman Jake Swinson said at the time, according to CNN. “It was one of the most awesome spectacles I’ve seen.”
Perhaps we should be a bit cautious in having the same reaction that Mr. Swinson had. Remember, this is the second time in one week that President Trump has ordered a significant military strike. We can debate the motives for the use of 60 Tomahawk missiles against Syria, though there’s no doubt the attack came without the “okay, what will we do next?” question answered.
A “what’s next?” strategy for today’s attack has yet to be articulated, though the BBC quoted Press Secretary Sean Spicer as saying it was necessary because
“We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters use to move around freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces in the area,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, using another name for IS.
He said necessary precautions were taken to prevent civilian casualties and “collateral damage”.
It might be coincidental that the bomb drop took place mere hours after the Pentagon admitted that a follow-up attack in Syria this week somehow went awry and killed 18 rebels.
Today’s military action also will direct the media’s spotlight away from any probing questions about the Russians and the 2016 presidential election. And perhaps those dreaded questions about Trump and his ever-expanded travel costs won’t be asked either.
Funny how military actions can distract you, if you let them.