Mother Of All Bombs

Episode 92 of The More Perfect Union podcast looks at Trump’s potential plays in Syria, Korea, and the Fed. (And which one he’s likely to nuke first.) Then the gang has some laughs over Sean Spicer’s most recent verbal gaffes and shares their thoughts on the airline industry in light of the United Airlines passenger ejection assault.

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2 thoughts on “Mother Of All Bombs”

  1. Depending on your perspective, the MOAB is *not* a sunk cost. That’s only true if you believe they are not going to build another one to restock inventory.

  2. Kinda late to the party on this…but I have some words in regards to Kevin’s concerns about setting off the MOAB leading to some kind of conventional arms’ race:

    Russia already has a bigger bomb than this, nicknamed the “Father of all Bombs”. According to Wikipedia (linked below) the MOAB is listed as being equal to about 11 tons of TNT, with the FOAB being 44. For comparison the Little Boy was equated to 15000 tons of TNT.

    There is one massive key difference between the nuclear arms race and a theoretical conventional arms race regarding large bombs here: The nuclear arms race was centered around strategic nuclear bombs, not tactical nuclear bombs.

    Strategic = Used on cities to turn wars.
    Tactical = Used on the battlefield to turn battles.

    The MOAB is a tactical bomb. The reason this is important is that with strategic bombs, the overall firepower does increase the effectiveness of their use with no real ceiling (bigger blast radius means more destruction on cities). But tactical bombs are designed with a given specific purpose in mind.

    In the case of the MOAB, the purpose is to provide a massive airburst explosion which can shoot through tunnels and wreak havoc underground. It’s sort of like a bunker buster except instead of digging down and blowing up, it just sends out a shockwave of force that the tunnel carries very easily.

    The size of the MOAB matters for its intended purpose, but building a bigger bomb would only improve its efficacy in that you could bomb bigger tunnels, which is a very, very niche use.

    Additionally, building a bigger MOAB is not remotely difficult. You can just scale it up. It’s the size that it is for a specific reason. The same applies for basically every single weapon we employ, be it the AR15, Tomahawk missile, Hellfire missile, or whatever. These weapons are designed to do exactly what they do effectively, and scaling them up only decreases efficiency.

    Why would we want to scale up the MOAB? Maybe so that we can destroy cities, I guess? That would reclassify it as a strategic weapon, and a poor choice to use at that. Far better would be to simply use a volley of Hellfire missiles. For the cost of one MOAB you could instead let off about 220 Hellfires. That’s a whole lot more Freedom™ per dollar. Why even use the MOAB at all, then? Well, it does a really good job of taking out those cave systems, where Hellfires can’t reach.

    Anyway, Kevin, I love this podcast, and will probably chug through your entire backlog in a couple of weeks. Hopefully this incredibly long reply can allay some of your fears about bomb dropping.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_of_All_Bombs

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