The MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or “Mother of All Bombs”) that the US dropped in Afghanistan this week killed 36 Islamic State (ISIS) militants, according to the Afghanistan officials. The MOAB, which targeted a tunnel complex in the Achin district of Nangarhar Province, reportedly damaged the complex and equipment like IEDs being stored there.
The MOAB, conceived as a threat to Saddam Hussein in Iraq, was created quickly at the beginning of this century, according to Air Force Materiel Command. The Air Force describes the MOAB as a “21,600 pound, GPS-guided munition with precision guidance and architecture to be delivered accurately to enemy forces with the main intention of permanently disabling them.” Putting aside the material destruction of ISIS resources, the MOAB bomb dropped in Achin — with a reported price tag of $16 million — valued the 36 ISIS militants killed at $444,444 each. To illustrate the differences in how the battle is being fought, in January an ISIS jihadist killed 36 people in Sadr City, Iraq with some IEDs and a truck. The Iraqi attack is very different and targeted civilians, but the two together are in some ways illustrative of the difficulty of fighting terror tactics with traditional military action.
Below is footage of the MOAB strike:
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) April 14, 2017