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Showing posts from April 16, 2017

What is the #MOAB Bomb?

English: The guided bomb unit-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb prototype is shown moments before impact. The detonation created a mushroom cloud that could be seen 20 miles away. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Good writeup from JustSecurity, part of which is included here. The Massive Ordnance Air Blast Weapon (MOAB, known informally as the “Mother of All Bombs” and formally as the Guided Bomb Unit, or GBU, 43/B) has attracted a great deal of attention since it was dropped on ISIS fighters in eastern Afghanistan on 13 April.  Unfortunately, discussion of the attack has been hobbled by a lack of understanding as to the nature of the weapon and the uses for which it was designed, as well as the tendency to discuss it by reference to nuclear weapons.  In this article, we hope to add some needed granularity to the analysis of the attack by describing the MOAB and its purpose.  We conclude by highlighting the international humanitarian law issues implicated by the attack. Developed in a rel…