Centre for Research on Globalisation
[ home ]




The US Military Starts Using “Daisy Cutters” Against Afghanistan

by Andy Buckley


Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca   14 November 2001


Before I stumbled across information on “the daisy cutter” I had a different idea of what a bombing must be like. I imagined groups of watermelon shaped bombs being lobbed out of planes, falling on cities and exploding. This is horrible enough if you happen to be unlucky enough to be in a spot where one of these bombs lands. However, I had no idea the mere shockwave from some of the bombs the United States military is using had the power to collapse lungs and rupture eardrums.

BLU-82s, better known by the name “daisy cutters”, are bombs reported now being dropped on Afghanistan by the United States military. The daisy cutter is horrifically brutal weapon, the details of which seldom make it into the American mainstream press.

Daisy cutters are 15,000 pound fuel-air bombs, which explode just prior to hitting the ground at a height of from 1-6 feet and are designed to kill everything within a square mile radius of the impact point. These weapons are the largest conventional bomb the United States military has in its arsenal.

This weapon was introduced in 1970 during the Vietnam War as a method for instantly clearing sections of jungle to create helicopter-landing zones. According to military.com “The BLU-82 is filled with 12,600 pounds of GSX explosive slurry and when detonated creates a blast wave of over 1,000 lbs. per square inch, which is sufficient to shear an 8" diameter tree off at its base…”.(1)

The weapon works by first exploding and then spreading kerosene vapor into the air. A second explosion then ignites the fuel vapor creating a massive pressure wave, which sucks oxygen out from the surrounding area. This creates a powerful vacuum effect.

A November 6th, 2001 BBC article described the weapon this way:

“Fuel-air bombs are particularly terrible weapons Those not incinerated are injured by the massive blast or the vacuum.

Typical injuries include concussion, blindness, rupture of the eardrums, seared airways and collapsed lungs, multiple internal hemorrhages, displaced and torn internal organs.

The internal injuries are of a type which battle medics area not usually trained to notice immediately. “(2)

Accorded to the non-profit group, the Federation of American Scientists, “Eleven BLU-82s were dropped during Desert Storm, all from Special Operations C-130s [aircraft]. The initial drops were intended to test the ability of the bomb to clear mines; no reliable bomb damage assessment exist on mine clearing effectiveness. Later, bombs were dropped as much for their psychological effect as for their destructive power.”(3)

During the Gulf War, upon first seeing the huge mushroom cloud these weapons generate, some British pilots mistakenly thought Americans forces had begun using nuclear weapons.


Other Equipment the military is using in Afghanistan:

CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition (Otherwise known as a clusterbomb) http://www.military.com/Resources/EQG/EQGmain?file=CBU87

Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) BLU-113 Penetrator (Otherwise known as a “bunkerbuster”) http://www.military.com/Resources/EQG/EQGmain?file=GBU28


(1) Military.com’s BLU-82 page http://www.military.com/Resources/EQG/EQGmain?file=BLU82

(2) BBC - Analysis: Destructive power of huge fuel bombs http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1641000/1641411.stm

(3) Federation of American Scientists BLU-82 page http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/dumb/blu-82.htm


Copyright, 2001, Andy Buckley [email protected]

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BUK111A.html