So we just dropped a giant fucking bomb in Eastern Afghanistan to fight ISIS. The bomb in question is the GBU-43, one of the largest non Nuclear bombs the US has and is a 22,000 pound bomb. The normal weight of a US bomb is 250-2,000 pounds. The reason why we use smaller bombs is they are more precise, the smaller bomb makes a smaller explosion, which is less likely to harm civilians or non combatants. More and more the US military style has been in favor of more narrow targets and more specific weapons. So the GBU-43 is very different, that is a giant fucking bomb that damages a whole area. It is the second largest non nuclear bomb the US has in stock, which would be the GBU-57, which weighs 30,000 pounds. The GBU-57 is designed to destroy massively fortified bunker complexes, so if the enemies are in a fortress, we could level it. Now we have never used the 57, because our enemies aren’t stupid enough to build a giant fortress and wait for us to bomb them, they know full well how great our air power is, and so they spread out to avoid being hit. The GBU-43 is has greater spread than the GBU-57 and is designed to destroy not bunkers or cave complexes, but to spread a large explosion in a specific region, like if you wanted to blow up a large part of a city or destroy a bunch of small defenses over a wide area. It comes from the 15,000 pound BLU-82 bomb used in the Vietnam War to blow up dense areas of jungle that could then be used for landing. The spread is a mile wide Source
The Way the Bomb works is that it explodes and pretty much everything is a giant massive crater, like if 11 tons of TNT was blow up at once. This bomb is so heavy that it requires a special type of plane, a parachute, and an elaborate organization system to even drop the damn thing. We considered using this particular Bomb in 2003 but thought better of it.
lets talk about Afghanistan for a moment. ISIS in Afghanistan has been on a steady retreat, between the 8500 US Forces, the 7,000 NATO forces and the who knows how many Afghan Forces, ISIS has been reduced to roughly 800 troops guarding two provinces. ISIS is also battling the Taliban, no ally to the US and struggling with local warlords and bandit groups. So we have been steadily winning in Afghanistan at least in the short term goal of defeating ISIS (the long term goal we still haven’t figured out) as things were. As always, the tough Afghanistan terrain combined with the use of roadside bombs, tunnels, and well trained insurgents is extremely difficult to deal with. The US has had some recent problems because it was thought we were going to leave in a few months from today, now it looks like we are going to be here for…who knows how long. In fighting ISIS btw, the Taliban has been able to gain more and more power. So does the GBU-43 help us win? Why did we drop a giant fucking bomb?
It doesn’t look like it, I mean if dropping a really big bomb is what it would take to defeat ISIS….why hadn’t we done that before? We have been in Afghanistan since 2001, the bomb was built in 2003, if using it would scare terrorists into surrendering…why didn’t we use it earlier.
One of the main issues with bombs is that we often blow up things we didn’t intend too. Only yesterday, we accidentally killed 18 of our Syrian Allies fighting ISIS which is turning into a huge PR nightmare. The Bomb isn’t designed for the type of fighting we are doing in Afghanistan at the moment, at least that isn’t what I have lead to believe. If it is designed for that type of fighting….why haven’t we used i before? In fact if the bomb killed civilians, which the Military is telling us isn’t true but I am skeptical, this would hurt our efforts in the region, since it buys into the exact type of behavior that helps ISIS recruit new people to fight us.
It kinda seems like this is a PR stunt, and that worries me. Trump’s approval ratings are extremely low and a giant fucking bomb might help make him look good, or at least make him think he is looking good. In many ways this reminds me of the airstrike on Assad, which regardless of whether we should or should not attack Assad, this particular airstrike didn’t do much of anything. The bomb seems to be the same, maybe using giant fuck off bombs might help stabilize the region, but it looks like we just dropped it so we could brag about the giant fucking bomb we just dropped. Because the mainstream media likes bombs, you can show them on TV and get ratings, so I think Trump is trying to get popularity by doing macho military things like dropping giant bombs so we can feel like we made progress.
Maybe this is to intimidate China and North Korea which I doubt will work, China knows we won’t ever go to war with them (and visa Versa).
Or maybe Trump thinks we can scare ISIS into going home.
Honestly this seems more like optics than a long term strategy, but I”m going to wait and see how things turn out