The Father of all Bombs

Komlan Attiogbe

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First, you must know about the MOAB. This stands for Massive Ordinance Air Blast but coincidentally the acronym also works for “mother of all bombs”. This is the bomb that the US has used to drop onto what they claimed to be ISIS tunnels. This bomb is “the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used by the US on the battlefield” (Beauchamp). It had been tested earlier but had never been used before in actual combat. Many were against the use of this bomb but the government had stated that its use was effective in destroying the tunnels and no civilian casualties were recorded.

Following this news, other superpowers of the world felt threatened by the use of this bomb. One of those superpowers being Russia. The showing off of who has the bigger, badder weapon just seems like a competition in order to display power. This also relates to the Cold War when countries threatened use of their nuclear weapons but never actually used them against each other.

Russia claims that their bomb, the FOAB or the “father of all bombs” is “the most powerful thermonuclear bomb of its kind, [and] four times more powerful than the American ‘mother of all bombs’”(Gigova). The Russian military has released some specifications regarding how much damage can be caused by the FOAB and just how powerful it is, and the US military has confirmed that Russia

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could be right. They cannot fully confirm though because Russia has not released all information regarding their bomb, but they released enough to let the US know the power that they possess.

Although it has never been used in combat and the US has never seen it, weapons experts “‘have [no] doubt that they could built it” because “it falls under [Russia’s] technological capabilities” (Gigova). This definitely draws comparison to the Cold War in which everyone claimed they had the most powerful nuclear weapons and threatened to display their strength, but nobody actually used their weapons.

The reason the FOAB is especially terrifying is because it is a “thermo baric bomb, which means that its payload explodes at much higher temperatures” (Gigova) which would then instantly vaporize any living thing near the area of detonation. Russia has made a broadcast claiming that the FOAB has “explosive power equivalent to 44 tons of TNT, compared to the 11 tons for the MOAB. . .while the blast radius is double the MOAB, at 300 meters.” (Gigova).

Make no mistake, after the US built the MOAB in 2003, Russia rushed to build the FOAB which was completed in 2007. This was an arms race to see who had the most powerful weapon and even after the Cold War had ended, tensions still remained. The Russians even intentionally named it the “father of all bombs” to make a statement in that it was way better than what the US had.

Although, the US does not know much about Russia’s weapons due to the fact that Russia does not export many weapons to other countries and they did not release much information on the FOAB. Russia only reveals what they want the US to know. Even if they do not show test video of the bomb or the bomb itself, the US is quick to realize that Russia indeed has the capability to manufacture such a weapon and that they probably have made multiple of them as well.

Hopefully it will not come to the point where these weapons have to be used, but in this arms race the US is certainly losing to Russia. With all the tensions in the world, this might lead to another Cold War.

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The Father of all Bombs