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Monday, August 03, 2009

Pentagon preparing for war on North Korea and Iran?

Reuters reports that the Pentagon is seeking to speed the deployment of the non-nuclear, 30,000 pound massive ordnance penetrator (MOP), an ultra-large bunker buster, which the Pentagon is seeking to deploy on B-2 bombers by July 2010. The MOP delivers ten times the explosive power of its predecessors, and could be used on Iranian and North Korean underground nuclear facilities.

"The Air Force and Department of Defense are looking at the possibility of accelerating the program," [an air force spokesman] said. "There have been discussions with the four congressional committees with oversight responsibilities. No final decision has been made."


Carrying more than 5,300 pounds of explosives. it would deliver more than 10 times the explosive power of its predecessor, the 2,000-pound BLU-109, according to the Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which has funded and managed the seed program.

Chicago-based Boeing, the Pentagon's No. 2 supplier by sales, could be put on contract within 72 hours to build the first MOP production models if Congress signs off, Bourland said.

The threat reduction agency is working with the Air Force to transition the program from "technology demonstration" to acquisition, said Betsy Freeman, an agency spokeswoman.

Both the U.S. Pacific Command, which takes the lead in U.S. military planning for North Korea, and the Central Command, which prepares for contingencies with Iran, appeared to be backing the acceleration request, said Kenneth Katzman, an expert on Iran at the Congressional Research Service, the research arm of Congress.

"It's very possible that the Pentagon wants to send a signal to various countries, particularly Iran and North Korea, that the United States is developing a viable military option against their nuclear programs," Katzman said.

But he cautioned against concluding there was any specific mission in mind at this time.
The MOP could also be dropped from a B-52 bomber.

The Pentagon might be planning this, but I'd be shocked if Obama pulled the trigger.


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