Results of US MOAB Strike in Afghanistan Remain Unknown

Reporters See Burned Trees, Little Else

While US officials have made much of the “message” sent by the use of the Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb (MOAB, or Mother of All Bombs) to North Korea and other nations that aren’t Afghanistan, what they actually accomplished in having dropped a bomb on eastern Afghanistan remains very much uncertain.

Officially, from the Afghan government’s perspective, a  significant number of ISIS fighters were killed in the bombing. First 36 were reported killed, then 96 were reported killed. Evidence was never offered, nor is it ever expected to be. The Pentagon has insisted they aren’t ever going to assess what the bomb actually did on the ground.

Reuters reporters actually visited the site, and are also coming up very short on evidence of casualties in the bombing, saying they found a “scarred” mountainside and a bunch of burnt trees. They found no obvious crater nor any bodies.

Perhaps even more damning to the suggestion that the strike accomplished anything, Afghan soldiers in the area were exploring the tunnel system beneath the site of the bombing, which was apparently intact. This raises further doubts that the MOAB was even an appropriate weapon to use against a tunnel system, let alone an effective one.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Sara S

    MOAB- Mega Ordinance Air Burst! You don’t have to be a weapons officer to know that if you want to destroy tunnels you don’t use a bomb that explodes while still in the air. It certainly wasn’t used to destroy tunnels and there would be little left in the way of bodies to identify.

  • nhmakingwaves

    I understand that the MOAB kills by using up all the oxygen in the area, so leaving tunnels intact is part of the point.

  • survivor

    Just remember the Pentagon and the CIA can now legally disseminate propaganda so anything they say should be vigorously fact checked.