On April 13th 7:30 p.m. local time, the U.S armed forces dropped MOAB- Mother of All Bombs (formally known as GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast) a 21,600 lbs bomb at one of ISIS’s operational spaces (caves) in Afghanistan.
According to insider reports, ¨The strike was intended to deliver maximum destruction to ISIS fighters and facilities with as little risk as possible to Afghan and American forces in the area, according to U.S. Central Command officials¨ however, it has yet to be reported if ISIS fighters were actually killed.
MOAB is considered a thermobaric weapon filled with fuel-air explosives (FAE) which means it can only be activated by sucking in surrounding oxygen which then sets off the blast, causing the longest sustained blast wave by a non-nuclear weapon.
So, when a fuel-air explosive detonates, kiss your life goodbye because according to a study by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency:
“The effect of an FAE explosion within confined spaces is immense. Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness.” Another Defense Intelligence Agency document speculates that because the “shock and pressure waves cause minimal damage to brain tissue…it is possible that victims of FAEs are not rendered unconscious by the blast, but instead suffer for several seconds or minutes while they suffocate.”
The issue with war, is not the defense/ offense, but the strategy and tools applied to gain dominance and triumph.
Everything in life, including war, is regulated, in this case by the international humanitarian law where countless countries agree to comply with general ethical principles of war, including the principle of distinction (between civilians and combatants, civilian objects and military objectives), the principle of necessity and the prohibition on causing unnecessary suffering. So civilians and combatants remain under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the principles of humanity and from the dictates of public consideration.
Unlike nuclear weapons, thermobaric weapons are approved by the Int. Humanitarian Law, so it is definitely an option for any country to use in war, if considered necessary. The thing with war, is that it becomes an open door to interpretation and creativity for evil forces, in other words, when you allow these kinds of weapons to be used, any demented rebel unit with the ability and motive can attack a considerably large group of people, causing a great deal of horrific almost torture like pain. THAT´s when it´s a problem.
Often times, these rebel groups, even world governments (cough, Syria) rarely consider humanity or its own innocent civilians, take for example the FAE attack back in August 16 2015, when the Syrian Gov. Jets struck a farmer´s market in Douma, a suburb northeast of Damascus, with no concrete evidence to support the attack.
Just recently on March 28, when the Syrian Gov. executed the chemical attack on a northern rebel-held area in Idlib Province, it turned the area into a toxic kill zone, killing at least 100 civilians, the victims slowly ceased in an agonizing death caused by the internal and superficial chemical wounds and to our horror, got a glimpse of these attacks when images went viral throughout social media.
It´s clear, that ISIS has become such a prominent threat to the world, governments are willing to do just about anything to obliterate them by any means necessary, including bombing an entire region ¨in the name national security or for the sake of humanity¨.
But when events such as the chemical/vacuum attacks are reported it makes you truly contemplate regarding the fight against ISIS, is this the easy way out? Don´t we count on more efficient options or have we reached our last resort?
The MOAB attack isn´t something to be proud of, but to be feared…how far will this go?
Only time will tell.
Soundtrack to this post: Damn, Kendrick Lamar, 2017