Former Afghan president calls decision to drop massive U.S. bomb ‘treason’

The GBU-43/B is launched from a MC-130E Combat Talon I at Eglain Air Force Base in Florida on November 21, 2003. REUTERS/U.S. Air Force photo/Handout/File photo

April 15, 2017

By Mirwais Harooni

KABUL (Reuters) – Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai accused his successor on Saturday of committing treason by allowing the U.S. military to drop the largest conventional bomb ever used in combat during an operation against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.

Karzai, who also vowed to “stand against America”, retains considerable influence within Afghanistan’s majority Pashtun ethnic group, to which President Ashraf Ghani also belongs. His strong words could signal a broader political backlash that may endanger the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.

Afghan defense officials have said the 21,600-pound (9,797-kg) GBU-43, dropped late on Thursday in the eastern province of Nangarhar, had killed nearly 100 suspected militants, though they acknowledged this was an estimate and not based on an actual body count.

“How could you permit Americans to bomb your country with a device equal to an atom bomb?” Karzai said at a public event in Kabul, questioning Ghani’s decision. “If the government has permitted them to do this, that was wrong and it has committed a national treason.”

Ghani’s office said the strike had been closely coordinated between Afghan and U.S. forces and replied to Karzai’s charges with a statement saying: “Every Afghan has the right to speak their mind. This is a country of free speech.”

Public reaction to Thursday’s strike has been mixed, with some residents near the blast praising Afghan and U.S. troops for pushing back the Islamic State militants.

While the bomb has been described as one of the largest non-nuclear devices ever used, its destructive power, equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, pales in comparison with the relatively small atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945, which had blasts equivalent to between 15,000 and 20,000 tonnes of TNT.


During Karzai’s tenure as president, his opposition to airstrikes by foreign military forces helped to sour his relationship with the United States and other Western nations.

As the Kabul government, split between Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah under a U.S.-brokered power-sharing deal, remains fragile, Karzai’s political interventions draw close attention. Ghani has failed to build the kind of domestic following that Karzai still has despite stepping down in 2014.

Karzai said he planned to “stand against America”, a stance he compared to decisions earlier in his life to fight against the Soviets and later the Taliban regime.

“I decided to get America off my soil,” he said. “This bomb wasn’t only a violation of our sovereignty and a disrespect to our soil and environment, but will have bad effects for years.”

While Karzai did not elaborate on how he would oppose the United States, his stance may pose problems for Ghani’s administration, which is heavily reliant on the United States and other foreign donors for aid and military support.

On Friday, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, defended the strike, saying the decision to use the bomb was based on military needs, not political reasons.

Afghan troops, backed by U.S. warplanes and special forces, have been battling militants linked to Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan for years.

The most recent operation began in March and continued until troops hit Islamic State fighters entrenched in booby-trapped tunnels in a remote mountain region, leading commanders to call for the use of the GBU-43 bomb.

(Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Gareth Jones)

  • vickley

    I believe this device was high penetration even though the article states it was a surface detonation.

    The isis’ters were 40 feet deep. Now they are no more.

  • RevGregory

    Karzai Bushes a hole buddy and fellow thief.

  • Wayne Artigas

    What’s wrong Karzai?
    Did the Clinton Foundation forget to pay you this month?

  • Archangel_USAF

    Just think of all of our boys that will never be killed or injured because of this bomb. More should be used in the future and more should have been used a long time ago to save our kids.

  • Archangel_USAF

    Trump is on the job. Get used to it.

  • jlsharks1

    President Trump check if Obama or Kerry are not visiting before dropping these bombs. Actually go ahead great job.

  • tedlv

    Reuters, the two atomic devices were 15 and 20 megatons. The prefix “mega” means million, not thousand.

  • Pingback: ‘Right time’ to use huge bomb in Afghanistan: U.S. general | SundoroUS()

  • Freebird

    M O A B —- Mucho ordinance awesome blast

    • tedlv

      “Earschplitten Louten Boomer” – Steppenwolf.

  • Pingback: ‘Right time’ to use huge bomb in Afghanistan: U.S. general – SundoroUS()

  • Frank

    NOW you are concerned about pissing away $$? Hmm, It didn’t bother you a bit when the Communist in the White House from 2008-17 pissed away about 12 trillion dollars. You hypocritical idiot!

  • Sonny Shaw

    MOAB have been around for years, they were called BLU-82 used in Vietnam for making instant Landing Zones for Helicopter assaults in the Jungles of Vietnam. The BLU-82 developed into GBU-43 Moab. The thing is if it is dropped in an area where there are tunnels everything in those tunnels dies from suffocation or they just burst like water balloons.

  • Todd Robert Hughes

    that was a lot of money spent to only kill 36….. should be in thousands, need to wipe them ISIS Muslim off face of the earth

  • Jose Arcadio Buendia

    Where is Obama when you we need him? These were “36 suspected Islamic State militants”! There was no hearing, we needed to bring them court, try them as civilians, not violate their “constitutional” rights that everyone in the world has, and then if convicted put them in our penal system and have Americans pay for their room and board and medical expenses. humor guys!

  • Truly Deplorable Navy Vet

    Math Problem: 21,000 lbs of explosives / 36 Dead Jihadists= 583.33 lbs per dead terrorist. Considering these jackasses rarely weigh over 160 lbs each, I’d say that is an excessive kill factor. Like smashing a cockroach with a sledge hammer. But it works…

    • HloMrWilson

      Those 36 are the ones that they can find – I’m sure that many more were vaporized and many more will die of internal injuries caused by the concussion of the blast.
      So…it’s all good.

  • HloMrWilson

    The U.S. Air Force just “re-accommodated” some Jihadists…

  • RURC

    The Taliban condemned the use of the bomb, saying in a statement, “Using
    this massive bomb cannot be justified and will leave a material and
    psychological impact on our people.”

    This is the only quote you need to see to know you have done the right thing. This should have happened years ago.

  • ADDgolfer

    Propaganda news from that side of the world. Yeah, I’d subscribe Or…

    Only 36 non vaporized bodies found? Unable to inspect the cave system as what was a mountain is no more?

  • gaillowerybriggs

    Straight from a president who had no balls ( except his first lady’s ) to a president who has giant balls . Take that you ISIS lowlifes .

  • eladtoor

    “MOAB” is a great name.

    The next size up is called the “MOFUBUBU” (MOnsterFU**ingBUnkerBUster}

  • einsteinsbrain

    that’s gonna leave a mark

  • Vince234

    next stop n korea

  • bighoss bigcross

    I think we should drop a MOAB Jack in the Box on them with Ashley Judd inside of it. When it hits the ground, she can pop out of it and yell “I’m Naaaaasty”. That should scare the hell out of them.

    • tedlv

      Scary visual, hoss!

  • bighoss bigcross

    When you care enough to send the very best!

  • bucketnutz

    That’ll punch a hole in yer Reality.

  • andrew moore

    would love to hear all the snack bar crying in the tunnel after that thing went off.

    • Sonny Shaw

      Anyone in those tunnels either bust like water balloons or suffocated.

  • andrew moore

    A MOAB for Mohammad….sounds poetic and just to me….

  • AllentownDave

    Hope a hundred ISIS came to. In tunnels and caves that are now closed.

    • Prius Dementat

      Only a hundred?
      Think big Dave.
      Think big.

  • Bill Jr

    U.S. Unleashes ‘Mad Mothers Against Drunk Drivers’ For First Time In Afghanistan Where Driving On Opium Is At An All Time High.

  • rodney

    one over the North Korean Capital might make for a good second test of the effectiveness of the weapon

  • The Deplorable Miss B

    It’s about time.

  • Obamaroid_Ointment

    Why do they keep saying this is the first time? I’m pretty sure I remember us dropping a few of them in Iraq.

    • Dog Daze 2.0

      nope only one was dropped at a test site in Florida, one was taken to Iraq and not used

      • Obamaroid_Ointment


      • Sonny Shaw

        The MOAB was used in Kuwait to set off all the mines and kill all the Iraqi’s positioned behind their sand berm walls. The British saw the explosion and called to their headquarters and asked if the Americans have gone Nuclear? It must have been quite a sight.

        • Dog Daze 2.0

          im “pretty” sure that was a BLU-82 daisy cutter

          • Sonny Shaw

            You’re right they called them Daisy Cutters in Vietnam, but the MOAB was used in Kuwait.

          • Dog Daze 2.0

            Im not arguing, Im learning. everything I have read said the one the brits thought was a nuke in Kuwait was a BU-82 and not a GBU43 which is a moab which we claim wasnt even brought into service till 2008

    • RevGregory

      Those were Daisy Cutters.

  • HloMrWilson

    I love it when Muzzies go 💥

  • FromThe70s

    I’ll bet that Alluhed their Akbars.

  • Eric

    Drop a bunch of them. starting with syria.

  • Fight4theRight

    Now you tell me who has bigger —————> bomb 🙂

    • doug


    • Dog Daze 2.0

      Russia they have FOAB said to be 4 times larger 44 ton equivalent

      • Mike Porro


      • Sonny Shaw

        Well the Russians always say they have everything bigger and better than the US. FOAB is short for Father of All Bombs.

      • RevGregory

        Doubtful. That would be a yield twice and three times more blast than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan.

  • Eric Adams

    I wonder if that Bomb was bigger than Oh-Bummers Ego?

    • Jonquil

      It wasn’t nuclear, so not.

  • semper liber

    Nothing better than using up stores of old ordinance. Sure would like to see the video.

    • tedlv

      I would too, as well as before and after pictures of the mountain.

  • Rich FSr

    Freaking love it. President with balls gets the job done.

    • semper liber

      Can’t help but wonder what no-balls is thinking. After all his attempts at helping the muslims, Trump comes along and does the right thing.

      • Russ

        Have you noticed he hasn’t said a thing…wonder why?

        • tedlv

          Mouth too full down at the bathhouse?

    • Eric Adams

      I Freaking Love it too Rich.

  • Eric Adams

    Happy Easter ISIS !! Finally a President that Pee’s standing up !! God Bless America !! Death from above to all you ISIS cowards.

    • Bill Jr

      Now Let’s See How That Idiot In North Korea Gets ‘Jerked Off!’

    • Jules

      Amen Brother.

  • Bucky Barkingham

    Probably a good choice to use against KJU’s tunnel complex in Pyongyang.

    • trumped

      Might have been a test for that.

    • Dog Daze 2.0

      MOAB is a non thermobaric non penetrating bomb and is not the weapon of choice when bombing caves and tunnels

    • Jonquil

      Only if we know butter-ball is in there at the time.

  • HloMrWilson

    M O A B
    When a simple “F U” just won’t do..

    • JR

      Awesome! Ha ha… Hey… they are always proselytizing about the end of the world… so there you go.

    • Shane Norkus

      isn’t that in Utah?

    • Shane Norkus

      isn’t that in Utah?

  • Andrew Estes

    Go get’em Trump.

    • D.J.

      My only question: What took us so long!!?? Oh right – Obama didn’t have the balls!

      • Frank

        Obama had balls. Moochelle kept them for him, and never thought he needed to borrow them.

        • andrew moore

          No…she had her own set of balls…she didn’t need obama’s.

        • Mel Carbon

          Actually, Barack is a eunuch.