This 21,000-lb. Massive Ordnance Air Blast, explosive, just brought out of the closet in a spectacular second only to a nuclear display of force, has heralded a new and very effective weapon of large destruction by concussive force and oxygen deprivation.
I witnessed its predecessor in the Gulf War when a 15,000-lb. explosive barrel was rolled off the rear loading door of a C-130 over an Iraqi concrete hangar. That left a mighty big hole.
While the public and other nations ponder just what and how this new weapon that has almost the destructive power of a small nuclear weapon will be used, it leaves no radiation and does not penetrate the ground but simply compacts it downward as its blast diameter exceeds two miles wide.
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The military strategists have already foreseen enormous possibilities, especially if the U.S. is the only country that has it and can deliver it. In the sparse territory of Afghanistan it is easy to drop from a relatively low level from a C-130 transport plane. But over territory heavily defended by surface-to-air missiles and counter aircraft, that might be another story. Certainly, though, our B-1s, B-2s, B-52Hs, and the soon to come B-21 bombers can deliver three or four of these MOABs from high altitude under protection of advance suppressive aerial and air-to-ground fires.
The ignored 65-year old “State of War”
Still the pundits, academics, politicos and even the military could not be unaware of this continuing status of war between between North Korea and China versus the United States and South Korea — hence, the reason the U.S. has had a reinforced mechanized Army division stationed in South Korea for all those years.
Or, some secret negotiation might have taken place and nobody thought to inform me that a peace treaty had been signed. Therefore, if that state of war still exists, North Korea’s testing of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons is a violation of the 1953 “Cease Fire,” and the U.S. and South Korea have every right to defend themselves by shooting the missiles down. U.S. warships in the Sea of Japan can easily do so with their anti-missile batteries and the new electromagnetic rail guns that send a projectile 250 miles at supersonic speeds at land, ship, or nuclear sites.
It may now have dawned on the imbecilic Kim Jong-Un that a MOAB dropped on his mass of troops in Pyongyang Square or several on his side of the DMZ where his troops assemble to attack South Korea would not only destroy but utterly demoralize what remained of his army. Simultaneously, the nuclear sites would have been MOAB’d as well. All with no nuclear radiation from the bombs.
China’s Pacific island fortresses
If not after the cordial dinner with President Trump, during which Xi Jinping was advised of Trump’s Tomahawk missile attack on a Syrian air base as a demonstration to all the world that the U.S. was under new management, the following MOAB bombing in Afghanistan (no doubt the good work of Secretary of Defence Mattis) set him to thinking twice about his several new bastions in the South China Sea in the midst of the world shipping lanes there.
A single MOAB could destroy each one of them from any Air Force bomber escorted by Navy F-35C’s and Marine F-35B’s, which are able to scan a battle area with more precision and lethality that any other nation’s aircraft (Yes, I know, the Chinese stole our plans to the Joint Strike F-35 series, but not (hopefully) to their latest upgrades nor match the excellence of our piloting).
The self-styled cognoscenti also fail to recall that 25 years ago, the U.S. rebuilt the small island of Diego Garcia in the midst of the Indian Ocean as a refueling base for our naval and air components. The Marine Corps used the base as a Maritime Prepositioning Force; that is, storing enough provisions, ammunitions and vehicles to provide a Marine brigade for 30 days. The system worked beautifully during the Gulf War. Elements of both the 1st and 2d Marine divisions were fully provisioned within the first week of arriving in Saudi Arabia and ready to defend that country from Day 1. The U.S. Army’s show of force was a battalion of the 81st Airborne division landing at Riyadh airport for media cameras — but with only three-days supply of food and ammunition. They were to be supplied by the Marines, whose prepositioned ships had already docked at Al Jubail on the Persian gulf. Fifteen years later, President Obama ordered Diego Garcia closed down.
Who has the Upper Hand?
Obviously, President Trump. And, rightly so. Psychologically, with the cruise missile attack and more so with the MOAB bombing, he has rocked the world on its heels and shown that America is back in its role to stabilize a wobbly world. Russia, China, Japan and North Korea had better think twice before testing us. Regardless of the pundits’ dire predictions, none of this will bring World War III.
Avery Chenoweth Sr., is a resident of Perry.