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October 25, 2007
Administration Funding Request Includes "Bunker Buster" Bombs
It appears that the Administration is making all the preparations necessary to bomb Iran's nuclear infrastructure in the near future.
Ed Lasky points to this ABC News article that reveals an interesting item in the recent budget request by the Administration for Iraq and Afghanistan operations; $88 million to modify stealth bombers so that they can carry the "massive ordnance penetrator" or, in military-speak, the MOP.
There doesn't appear to be any potential targets for a bomb like that in Iraq. It could potentially be used on Taliban or al Qaeda hideouts in the caves along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but there would be no need to use a stealth bomber there. A little psy-ops game being played by the Pentagon? Perhaps a message directed to the mullahs in Iran that we're serious about them not building a nuclear weapon?
So where would the military use a stealth bomber armed with a 30,000-pound bomb like this? Defense analysts say the most likely target for this bomb would be Iran's flagship nuclear facility in Natanz, which is both heavily fortified and deeply buried.
"You'd use it on Natanz," said John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org. "And you'd use it on a stealth bomber because you want it to be a surprise. And you put in an emergency funding request because you want to bomb quickly."
"It's kind of strange," Pike said. "It sends a signal that you are preparing to bomb Iran, and if you were actually going to bomb Iran I wouldn't think you would want to announce it like that."
Whatever the reason, it appears that the Administration is making preparations so that the military is in a position to carry out a bombing mission against Iran if the situation were to call for it. Like updating target lists, it's just one more indication that the President is deadly serious about preventing the Iranians from becoming a nuclear power that would threaten Israel and the entire region.