You've come to an old part of SW Online. We're still moving this and other older stories into our new format. In the meanwhile, click here to go to the current home page.

What they drop on Afghanistan

By Alan Maass | November 16, 2001 | Page 2

THE PENTAGON is dropping some of the most deadly weapons of mass destruction ever known on Afghanistan.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Daisy cutter

THE PENTAGON'S "daisy cutters" are the most destructive nonnuclear weapons in the world. One bomb is the size of a small car and weighs 15,000 pounds.

Daisy cutters are dropped from specially fitted transport planes and release several chemicals that are detonated just over the ground. The resulting firestorm obliterates anything within a half-mile area. The shock wave and vacuum pressure created by the blast destroy the internal organs of anyone within range.

"The sound split the air," says a reporter for a British newspaper, describing a daisy cutter explosion. "It was like a thunder clap directly overhead at the height of a ferocious storm. "I could see the massive oil black cloud of the explosion as it rolled across the hillside, a mixture of thick smoke, chunks of earth and debris."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Cluster bomb

CLUSTER BOMBS each contain 202 bomblets that are designed to scatter over an area the size of several football fields when the bomb is released.

On impact, the bomblets explode into 300 fragments of jagged shrapnel that can "defeat light armor and personnel." In other words, tear any human being within 100 feet to pieces.

At least one in 20 bomblets doesn't detonate on impact. They remain left behind as a kind of super-land mine–to explode on impact when touched.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bunker buster

THE PENTAGON is using so-called "bunker buster" bombs to destroy caves where Osama bin Laden is supposedly hiding. The 5,000-pound bombs can burrow through as much as 20 feet of rock before exploding underground.

Witnesses say the blast is like an underground nuclear test–and "a significant emotional event for anyone within a square mile," said one U.S. officer.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Food packages

THE U.S. had dropped about 1 million food packages in Afghanistan by early November. Each package contains one day's worth of food for one person–at a cost of $3.95.

An estimated 1.5 million people are suffering from malnutrition now. So the food drops haven't even met the needs of everyone at risk for just one day out of the month.

Home page | Back to the top