In its 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.
The bomb, known as a Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, was capable of decimating anything within a third of a mile of the blast zone and producing additional damage for up to eight miles.
The concept for the weapon was inspired by the BLU-82 Daisy Cutter, which United States forces first used to clear heavily wooded areas in the Vietnam War.
The Pentagon says the U.S. However, they "did not have the information" on whether the mission was being planned during the previous Obama administration.
The Afghan Taliban, which is trying to overthrow the USA -backed government in Kabul, are fiercely opposed to Islamic State and the two group have clashed as they seek to expand territory and influence.
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The bomb weighs 22,000 pounds, making it the second-largest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal.
The Pentagon said that Nicholson made the decision to actually use the weapon, as was his authority, in consultation with Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of US Central Command, which is responsible for the war in Afghanistan.
The military also said the U.S.
The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious, with a number of militant groups trying to claim territory more than 15 years after the USA invasion which toppled the Taliban government. The very non-nuclear nature of the MOAB and FOAB are what make it possible to use them at all - and thus, their lack of fallout could actually make them infinitely more destructive than their nuclear forebears. He said IS has been using improvised explosive devices, bunkers and tunnels to strengthen its defenses.
Here is a video of a test run at a base in Florida of the bomb showing how MOAB works and what it could have looked like when it landed in Naganhar province in Afghanistan on Thursday. This means that as the explosion progresses, it burns through the air to power its own chemical reaction, creating a super-heated, ultrasonic shock wave that literally vaporizes most anything other than rock. This would give it a blast radius roughly twice that of the American MOAB, at about 300 meters. The bomb hit a series of caves in the Achin district of the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.
The U.S. has used the bomb's predecessor, a smaller but still massive weapon known as the "Daisy Cutter", in Afghanistan before.