The American Military used one of these recently in Afghanistan, and gave it a lot of publicity. It was the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever! The technical details were sketchy, and did not satisfy me.
This Wikipedia article tells me more than I really wanted to know. I was under the impression that this was something new, but they were used by the Germans in WWII. And then perfected by the Soviets, and are now used extensively by the Russians.
In September 2007, Russia exploded the largest thermobaric weapon ever made. Its yield was reportedly greater than the smallest dial-a-yield nuclear weapons at their lowest settings. Russia named this particular ordnance the “Father of All Bombs” in response to the United States developed Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb whose backronym is the “Mother of All Bombs”, and which previously held the title of the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in history.
The use of this bomb no doubt impressed the American public – and made them think we were winning the war!
But the war in Afghanistan is a war that cannot be won. Suppose the Americans used enough of these to kill every living thing in the whole country – people, sheep, goats, ducks – everything! What then? Would the people who re-populated the place be to our liking?