Some of President Donald Trump’s critics were quick to decry the cost of dropping the “mother of all bombs” on an ISIS target in Afghanistan on Thursday.
But the number heavily cited across social media, $314 million, was how much the US military paid for 20 such bombs, technically called the Massive Ordnance Air Blast.
The US Air Force dropped one MOAB – the largest nonnuclear bomb in the US’s arsenal – on an ISIS target in a remote part of far northeast Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the goal was to destroy “a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces in the area.”
One MOAB costs about $16 million, and 20 have been produced, according to the military equipment site Deagel.com.
Many celebrities and other Trump critics used Twitter to express their frustration at the administration authorizing the use of such an expensive bomb, but they cited the total cost instead:
One bomb. $314 MILLION. But let's cut meals on wheels for Americans. https://t.co/tt0TB5QMH6
— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) April 13, 2017
Useful context. Also, still a shit load of money to spend on a mass killing authorized by a game show host. https://t.co/4QRZiQ2Y7S
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) April 13, 2017
The "mother of all bombs" dropped today in Afghanistan cost the US taxpayer $314 million. And yet America can't afford meals on wheels.
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) April 13, 2017
Not 1 person in gov't,can tell me this country doesn't have enough money to fund social programs or water. We just dropped 314 million.
— Tika Sumpter (@iamtikasumpter) April 13, 2017
— Nicki (@nickiknowsnada) April 13, 2017
The bomb Trump just dropped on Afghanistan cost $314 million.
Enough money to fix the water crisis in Flint almost three times over. #MOAB
— Jack Slater (@Jack_Slater) April 13, 2017
"The Mother of All Bombs" cost 314 million dollars . make america (pay) great (taxes) again.
— 7KINGSMEDIA (@7KINGSMEDIA) April 13, 2017
For comparison, aircraft from the USS Harry S. Truman dropped 1,118 smaller bombs in Iraq and Syria from late December 2015 to mid-April 2016 as part of the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve. A general purpose 1,000-pound MK-83 costs about $12,000.