Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pentagon Speeds up Production of Bunker-Buster Bombs

The Pentagon is speeding up production of some of the largest bunker-busters acknowledged to exists. It goes without saying that a bunker-buster is designed to bust bunkers; that is facilities buried deep under the earth in an attempt to protect them. In terms of potential targets that these weapons would be needed for, only North Korea and Iran come to mind. Since we are not going to bomb North Korea, by process of elimination they are meant for Iran.

Meant for does not necessarily mean to bomb them. It could be warning, a way for Obama to let the Iranians know that he is preparing for a strike should it be necessary. The problem is that all indications thus far indicate that Obama is not going to bomb Iran even if talks break down. There is a possibility that they will be given to someone else to use. That category of someone else is restricted pretty exclusively to Israel. Such a blatant hand off will be view as if we bombed Iran ourselves, so that seems pointless. It is also unclear to me if Israeli planes could carry the huge bomb deep enough into Iran in such a manor as to not be shot down on approach.

I am leaning toward bluff on this one, a bluff that unfortunately is unlikely to work.

"First, some background: Back in October 2007, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had asked Congress for $88 million in the emergency Iraq/Afghanistan war funding request to develop a gargantuan bunker-busting bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). It's a 30,000-pound bomb designed to hit targets buried 200 feet below ground. Back then, the Pentagon cited an "urgent operational need" for the new weapon.

Now the Pentagon is shifting spending from other programs to fast forward the development and procurement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. The Pentagon comptroller sent a request to shift the funds to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees over the summer.

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