Experts have dubbed the action to be dramatic and something of an overkill. Others have questioned the efficacy of such a strike. And they might not be wrong. On Thursday, the US dropped the Massive Ordinance Air Blast GBU-43-B, more commonly known as the “Mother Of All Bombs” (MOAB) on a network of caves – allegedly the hideout of IS militants – in Afghanistan’s Nangahar province. The MOAB is a 9800 kilogramme GPS guided explosive with an 11-tonne yield of explosives, making it the largest non-nuclear bomb in US’ arsenal.

In the Pakistani context, it is utterly strange that Afghanistan allows for the US to carelessly drop large bombs in its territory on the pretext of targeting militants, when Pakistan cannot even conduct targeted strikes along the border. While the US is part of the coalition to fight terrorists on Afghan soil, it was not too long ago when Pakistan was also deeply embroiled in the conflict and is supposedly an ally country to boot. Pakistan should respect the sovereignty of its neighbours, but with the Afghan government completely okay with the US dropping MOAB on its territory, one must wonder why it changes its stance when Pakistan is concerned.

Official US numbers given state that the explosive led to the deaths of 36 IS militants – miraculously no civilians were caught in this unnecessarily large explosion – and a large cache of arms and ammunitions, but with no way to confirm this, we cannot really be sure. Even if this is an accurate figure, are 36 militants reason enough to use a bomb this destructive? Residents of a village 1.5 miles away reported that the windows of their house broke from the impact and they felt as if their own houses were being attacked; ironically a strike against terrorism ended up terrorising more than a few innocent civilians. Was this then worth it?

From the looks of it, this was the Trump Administration’s official warning bell to the militants in Afghanistan and the world at large (Russia specifically), however, there was more bang and little substance behind this strike. This is the second military engagement of the US in a week – the first in Syria – and it looks like President Trump is signalling his entrance into world conflicts with as much fanfare as he can muster.

The bottom line is this; the IS is not as big of a threat to the stability of Afghanistan, and yet the US remains focused on this group. This bomb was not the used as a last resort either – there are other, less boisterous ways to handle the ‘IS threat’. The ultimate efficacy of this strike is questionable, which implies that the US has other ambitions in mind.