Joshua Keating, Slate: Remember the MOAB, America’s Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb? The U.S. Just Dropped One in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Central Command announced on Thursday that the military has used a GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast, otherwise known as the Mother Of All Bombs, for the first time in combat today, dropping one on an ISIS complex in Afghanistan.
The MOAB is the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, coming in at 21,000 pounds, including 18,000 pounds of explosives. (Russia claims to have an even bigger one. Go figure.)
Afghanistan has gotten much less attention than Syria, or even Yemen, in the U.S. media lately, but the situation there is increasingly dire, with the Taliban having taken over more territory in 2016 than in any other year of its fight against he U.S.-backed government. In the meantime, an offshoot of ISIS has been expanding in the country as well. The group, based in Nangarhar province where the MOAB was dropped, took responsibility for the February attack on a Sufi shrine across the border in Pakistan that killed nearly 90 people. A U.S. Green Beret was killed in fighting with ISIS in Nangarhar last weekend.
Read more ....
Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- April 13, 2017
While the U.S. wasn’t looking, Russia and Iran began carving out a bigger role in Afghanistan -- Erin Cunningham, Washington Post
Calculating the threat from North Korea -- Washington Times editorial
Trump Said No to Troops in Syria. His Aides Aren't So Sure. -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg
Syria's Assad, hated by the West but defended by Russia -- AFP
Why overthrowing Assad won’t solve Syria’s crisis -- Lawrence Solomon, National Post
Erdogan and opposition play last cards before vote -- Umut Uras, Al Jazeera
Aung San Suu Kyi marks her first year in power -- Japan Times editorial
The Libyan mess will get worse if outside powers don't cooperate -- S. M. Carlson, War On The Rocks
How Russia and China Avoided the Thucydides Trap -- Marcin Kaczmarski, Lowy Institute
Why U.S.-Russia Relations Won't Get Any Better -- Blake Franko, National Interest
Russia, Belarus and a Catch-22 -- Antonia Colibasanu, Geopolitical Futures
Three years on, hopes fade for those trapped in Ukraine war -- AFP
Sweden is divided in the wake of the Stockholm attack -- Paulina Neuding, Spectator
Brazil corruption probe sends shivers across Latin America (Video) -- Al Jazeera
Halting Venezuela's Meltdown -- Moises Rendon, RCW/CSIS
America's Dangerous Amnesia About World Order -- Francis J. Gavin, Bloomberg