Ludwig von Gress

It is becoming difficult to write about anything contemporary. I was not at Khorasan cave complex in Achin District, Nangarhar Province a few days ago, in fact never. With the credibility of the Main Sewer Media hardly ever challenged by the Main Sewer Media it is possible that there are no caves at all. The story that USA dropped there the GBU-43/B “Mother Of All Bombs” could be just a story fabricated for multiple purposes. Pentagon wants to show that it is doing something beside enforcing unisex toilets regulations and thus needs more money. Trump wants to show that he is a tough, real macho man, not a real estate man. The Leftists want to show that Trump is a dangerous lunatic. So does North Korea. Islamic Horde wants to show how aggressive infidel crusaders are, and speedily gathers the photographs of innocent women and children killed by that inhuman bomb. Environuts fabricate evidence proving that thanks to Trump, rare Khorasan cave bats are now extinct. Russians like the additional proof that US military is incompetent. They experimented with a similar device in 2007, but seemingly decided that for clearing caves, movie theatres etc. some gas, say surplus Sarin, is more effective and incomparably cheaper. Actually, I do not see anybody having interest in investigating the story, i.e. searching for facts.

Originally I only glanced through the news, having no particular interest in the “too little too late” Afghanistan side show, but the numbers were astonishing. Apparently the bomb costs $16 million and 36 Islamist fighters were killed. Thus puzzled, counting the cost effectiveness of the device on my fingers, I searched further and discovered a claim of 82 dead and one bomb at bargain price $314 million.

I have no intention to disparage the heroic Afghan army which has been fighting their countrymen and co-religionist ISIS for years and each other for centuries. Searching the caves, counting corpses – mistakes can be made: “A spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry said that 36 ISIS fighters were killed, while a spokesman for the provincial governor’s office said that 82 were killed.” When the Pentagon publicity department is through it, the figure is likely to be 246. And – no injured? Just the dead, telling no tales? Some unkind souls think I am getting too cynical.

The latest the MOAB cost figures look more sensible -

The US’s Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb does not cost $314 million, or $US16 million, but $US170,000 a unit, the US Air Force told Business Insider on Friday.

The MOAB, also called the “mother of all bombs,” was produced by the Air Force, not by a third party like Lockheed or Boeing, “so we don’t have a standard procurement cost associated with them,” said an Air Force official.

The $US170,000 figure makes sense considering a general purpose 1,000-pound MK-83 costs about $US12,000. The MOAB simply features more high explosives and larger fins to direct the GPS-guided munition.

Many outlets, from The New York Times to Business Insider, inaccurately stated the cost of the MOAB as being in the millions. Business Insider’s article has since been corrected to reflect this information.”


Still, an American taxpayer ought to be concerned with the cost per neutralised enemy – a good quality knife can be had for less than $200 ( A British Fairnbairn Sykes knife, designed in Shanghai and used by British Commandos, the Airborne Forces, the SAS and many other units during WW II, and still widely used, costs Aus$139.00 ) and can be used again and again, though there could be legal problems. “In a 2003 review of the legality of using the MOAB, the Pentagon concluded that it could not be called an indiscriminate killer under the Law of Armed Conflict.” If there has to be a review of the legality of use a bomb, where decision to drop or not is made by dozens seat-warmers in the chain of command; could a decision to use a knife be left to an individual? Lawyers would tremble in their golf shoes and a poor grunt would worry whether in order not to be court-martialed he should first offer a cup of tea to the intended victim. When Fairnbairn Sykes knives were used the idea, now obsolete, was to win the war.

If you think that I am treating the subject of US military’s impotence rather flippantly, you are right. My excuse is that my un-seriousness is dwarfed by that of US military planners.

MOAB flippancy must be catching – already somebody had been asking whether those $314 million would have been better spend on schools and hospitals for ISIS.

Finally, from the above mentioned Pentagon review -

Although the MOAB weapon leaves a large footprint, it is discriminate and requires a deliberate launching toward the target,” the review said, adding, “It is expected that the weapon will have a substantial psychological effect on those who witness its use.”

Spectators weapon extraordinaire! The cost could be offset by selling tickets.


About Ludwig von Gress

Born in communist Europe, interested in defence matters on a macro scale, with a cavalry “devil may care spirit” from his grandfather and cautious effectiveness of asymmetric warfare approach from his guerilla father. He sometimes despairs that he may be the only one taking the defence of Australia seriously.
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2 Responses to MOABites

  1. Sad Yank says:

    There is no point in winning wars. It just brings boring, non-profitable peace.

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