The bomb launched by the United States this April 13 on an area of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, has a cost of approximately $16 million dollars, and is known as the “Mother Of All Bombs” given its size and destructive power.
I am sure that neither the pilot of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules that carried the device and dropped it on Afghan soil, nor those who designed such a deadly weapon, are aware of some current data on the situation in this Asian nation.
This is a country that was invaded and occupied by the United States in 2001. It has been repeatedly bombarded throughout its territory and today a third of its population of almost 32 million inhabitants is living in extreme poverty, according to the United Nations.
The literacy rate for Afghan women does not exceed 32%, while for men it is 61%.
Afghan life expectancy does not exceed 50 years; while there are more than 650,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the war, according to 2016 reports.
This is the country against which the Pentagon decided to launch the “Mother Of All Bombs”, a lethal invention exhibited by Washington as the most complete and modern of all bombs.
It was with Donald Trump in the White House that, for the first time in history, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb was used, a gigantic projectile weighing about ten tons, designed to destroy cave complexes and underground tunnels.
Those taking such a decision fail to remember that last year alone, 3,498 civilians died and another 7,920 were injured due to the war in Afghanistan that, since the U.S. invasion of 2001, has resulted in unprecedented levels of insecurity and instability.
First came the war against the Taliban – the presumed justification for the invasion of U.S. troops – and now, 16 years later, this is defended as part of the fight against the Islamic State. But the incredible thing is that the Taliban was not wiped out with the invasion and occupation, but rather worse forms of terrorism have grown, such as the Islamic State.
The chosen target to test this new weapon was the Achin district in Nangarhar province, in eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb was developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts Jr.
It contains more than eight tons of high-powered explosives that, on detonating, have a destructive capability equivalent to 11 tons of TNT and a blast radius of 1.40 km.
Its launch came three days after the United States, on the orders of President Trump, launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base.
To any intelligent reader, these two examples suffice. It is already clear that the White House’s latest occupant has embarked on the same course of his predecessors, despite his pledges made as presidential candidate.
The use of this ruthless “Mother Of All Bombs” signals the continuity of a policy that has only sown death and destruction across countries that, rather than bombs, need food, medicine and social development.