US could use new, huge bomb in Iran

2012-03-09 12:13

Washington - A 13 600kg bunker buster bomb designed to smash through 65m of concrete before exploding is a "great weapon" that could be used by US forces in a clash with Iran over its nuclear programme, a US Air Force general said on Thursday.

Lieutenant General Herbert Carlisle, US Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations, said the massive ordnance penetrator, which the military began receiving only last year, is part of the US arsenal available for strikes against countries like Iran, which has some buried nuclear facilities.

"The massive ordnance penetrator is a great weapon. We are continuing to improve that. It has great capability now and we are continuing to make it better. It is part of our arsenal and it will be a potential if we need it in that kind of scenario," Carlisle told a conference on US defence programmes.

The Pentagon has begun working on military options if sanctions and diplomacy fail to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear weapon.

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told the National Journal in an interview on Thursday that planning had been going on "for a long time".

Major powers are increasingly concerned about Iran's nuclear enrichment programme, which they view as an attempt to build an atomic weapon. But Tehran says it is meant for peaceful energy production.

Greater impact

Israel also is worried about potential for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Washington this week that time was running out for diplomacy and sanctions.

Panetta, who has said diplomacy and sanctions should be given more time, told the National Journal he did not think Israel had decided whether to order a high-risk raid on Iran's nuclear sites.

He said the United States was committed to preventing Iran from acquiring atomic weapons and would have a greater impact than Israel if it decided force was necessary.

"If they decided to do it there's no question that it would have an impact, but I think it's also clear that if the United States did it we would have a hell of a bigger impact," Panetta said.

The tough rhetoric from the Pentagon came despite President Barack Obama's effort this week to tamp down "loose talk" and "bluster" about possible military action, saying there was still an opportunity for diplomacy.

Carlisle also told the Credit Suisse-McAleese defence conference that a conflict with Syria or Iran could see US military operations influenced by new tactical thinking at the Pentagon known as Air-Sea Battle.

Cyberspace attack

That approach aims to take advantage of highly networked and integrated US forces.

Carlisle said the tactics focus on operating in multiple domains, from air and sea to space and cyberspace, while networking and integrating information from the different areas, like satellites and sensors on stealth fighters and unmanned aircraft.

"There's a space capability, there's a cyber capability, there's fifth-generation, low-signature force capability," he said.

"All those things are on the table and being thought about as we do this operational planning," Carlisle added, noting that Syria and Iran have developed significant defences aimed at keeping potential attackers at a distance, a strategy Air-Sea Battle was designed to circumvent.

Carlisle said cyberspace could be a factor in a conflict with the two countries.

"All of the leadership has said nothing is off the table with respect to what we would employ and use," he said.

  • Neil - 2012-03-09 12:28

    "A 13 600kg bunker buster bomb designed to smash through 65m of concrete before exploding" Looks like America likes to give some deep penetration... lol

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-03-09 16:13

      Are you happy to see me or is that 65m concrete bashing bunker buster bomb in your pocket . Neil - comment of the day!

  • Sue - 2012-03-09 12:30

    War Mongers.

      Fidel - 2012-03-09 13:15

      Except they never said that! "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad." This was preceded by his statement that within the last thirty years three regimes had collapsed, crumbled, or vanished: 1) The Shah of Iran –the U.S. installed monarch; 2) The Soviet Union; and 3) Iran’s former arch-enemy, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hossein. No limit to ignorance, is there?!

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:24

      Fidel, you're focusing on one speech and squirreling away the regime's true intentions. It has threatened to destroy Israel MANY times, and acts on this threat EVERY DAY with its incitement and funding on Palestinian and other terror groups. It also has denied the occurrence of the Holocaust, which saw the killing of SIX MILLION Jewish people and was the single biggest attempt at human genocide in the history of humankind. One would have to be blind and dumb to misunderstand the Iranian regime's true intentions. It's everywhere.

      Jason - 2012-03-09 13:31

      Fred, please supply the source of the MANY TIMES Iran has said that? Wake up!

      Fidel - 2012-03-09 13:47

      Since when did it become a crime to be sceptical! I have no special need to defend Iran, but I am interested in how bloggers use distorted arguments for propaganda purposes to "prove" what they want to believe.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:50

      Do your own research Jason. I'm not your secretary.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:52

      It's certainly not a crime to be skeptical. It's downright dumb to believe unarmed civilians are aggressors, as you do in Syria, and to stubbornly overlook the countless threats against Israel by the Iranian regime, its adjustment of elections, its abuse of the Palestinians, and its denial of the Holocaust.

      Fidel - 2012-03-09 14:05

      Where are the threaths Fred, I couldn't find any on the net!

      Boaz - 2012-03-09 14:10 Ahmadinejad: "Israel Will Disappear From Map" or this one, "death to Israel" Fidel & Jason watch plz You can search for more yourselves cause there are many - I have stuff to do. Its amazing how blind you racists are.

      Fred - 2012-03-10 00:41

      The Russian and Chinese regimes that have killed TENS OF MILLIONS of their own people, and are stopping the URGENT help civilians and their families need, in the face of one of the most brutal assaults on peaceful demonstrators and civilians by their own military in human history. And the Iranian regime, that routinely threatens Israel, denies the occurrence of the Holocaust (the single biggest attempt at human genocide ever), abuses the Palestinians and women, and overtly adjusts elections to hold onto power. A most trustworthy, insightful, progressive bunch who clearly are not peace-loving people. The freer world without doubt prefers peaceful resolution. It rejoices in such resolution.

  • Fidel - 2012-03-09 12:34

    If you create a whole industry on war what way of life and thinking are you going to promote? One based on domination and war. The US is so morally screwed-up, especially in its foreign policy, that, it can make war and hypocrisy appear virtuous. Americans do a good job of expressing the psychosis that a warmongering nation suffers from. Warmongers are brought up playing fightball!

      Mark - 2012-03-09 12:47

      @Fidel - Why don't you go visit your senile namesake in Cuba? You never know you may like it so much you may decide to emigrate.

      Penny - 2012-03-09 12:50

      This is typical cat and mouse Fidel. Iran showed how big then are, the world is showing Iran that their's is bigger. We don't need or want a nuclear armoured Iran !!!

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:11

      ANything about the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of innocent civilians killed and maimed by Al-Quaida and the Taliban with their car bombs and suicide attacks intentionally placed in public places in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, the UK, the US and elsewhere, that have also declared war on the freer world? Anything about the Iranian regime that routinely threatens to destroy Israel, denies the occurrence of the Holocaust, the single biggest attempt at human genocide in the history of humankind, is the biggest funder of international terror, adjusts elections to stay in power, and is ultra-chauvinistic? Anything?

      Penny - 2012-03-09 13:20

      @Fidel, yep, it's you

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:53

      Makes YOU think does't it.

      Modefan - 2012-03-09 14:22

      @Fidel.... you people are so quick to condone America, but what about the saying, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"? The basic concept comes down to, you walk down the street, and see someone assaulting someone else, or maybe even a husband beating his wife...and you don't lift a finger to help the victim, because its none of your bussiness.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 14:26

      Fidel is the one doing the assaulting, thinking he's actually the victim

      Modefan - 2012-03-09 14:55

      oops, was supposed to say "condemn America", not condone, I'm all for America, and any other free country

      Jaba - 2012-03-09 15:17

      When the crazy religious fundamentalists in Iran are finished with Israel they will come for us ‘non-believers’ in the West! I support Israel – may this disgusting regime in Iran consume itself in hate until it collapses.

      Fidel - 2012-03-09 17:18

      @Modefan Who has been waging war non-stop since the end of WW11? The riposte to the lie that Democracy is worth killing for lies in the corrupt system that allows the killing in the first place. If you’re not careful the media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. —Malcolm X

      Fred - 2012-03-10 00:44

      Peace is worth fighting for. This does make sense. But Fidel, you believe the unarmed Syrian protestors have been provoking the Assad regime to kill them. This doesn't tie at all into what you're saying or purporting to believe. Not at all.

  • Jason - 2012-03-09 12:58

    How can some of you idiots actually support the US with this? I suppose you believe that Iraq had WMD's and that the invasion was justified? Surely you realize its all about the OIL?

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:12


      Fidel - 2012-03-09 13:22

      I guess to some, thinking is overrated!

      Jason - 2012-03-09 13:28

      Penny, try not to believe all the PROPAGANDA - Iran said no such thing Wake up and see whats really going on in the world!

      Jason - 2012-03-09 13:32

      Yes Fred, we know you are sleeping. Time to wake up and get a reality check.

      Warwick - 2012-03-09 13:38

      Meybe it is about oil meybe it's not. But who knows, if they do ever stuff those backward mullahs up and bomb the living hell out of these Jew haters, gay haters, woman haters, lesbian haters, movie and DSTV haters and anything to do with anything except their form of Islam, the price of oil might go down.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:55

      Jason, that's not a balanced, credible website. No wonder your perspective is wrong.

      Adil Smit - 2012-03-10 08:29

      Of course it's about oil. Iraq,Afghanistan and now Iran. Israel also has nuclear weapons and so does China but we don't see the US attacking them.

  • Vanessa - 2012-03-09 13:27

    Interestingly, South Africa imports approx 100,000 barrels of Iranian crude per day, making us their biggest oil customer in Africa, and their ninth biggest customer in the world.. If they get involved in a war, we better buy ourselves some bicycles..

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:57

      It's deeply disappointing that after our experience with oppression through Apartheid, we would fund such a violently oppressive and dishonest regime.

      Fidel - 2012-03-09 14:11

      Have your Western heroes been willing to actively support, shield and arm repressive regimes? There are no UN recognised sanctions regarding Iran.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 14:29

      Regrettably yes. Was there anything but oppressive regimes in the Middle East? Regrettably no. Is Fidel blinding himself? Regrettably yes.

      Vanessa - 2012-03-09 14:39

      And it seems if we are going to keep funding them, our energy minister met with Iran's oil minister to explore ways to circumvent the sanctions on oil trade

      Fidel - 2012-03-09 17:12

      Vanessa, wakey wakey, there are no sanctions against Iran, or you think that SA is little England.

      Fred - 2012-03-10 00:46

      Are you living on Earth Fidel? There are strong sanctions in place against the Iranian regime.

      Fidel - 2012-03-10 03:30

      There are no sanctions as far as the rest of the world is concerned as there is no UN mandate to sanction Iran.

      Fred - 2012-03-10 04:53

      United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 - passed on 9 June 2010. Banned Iran from participating in any activities related to ballistic missiles, tightened the arms embargo, travel bans on individuals involved with the program, froze the funds and assets of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and recommended that states inspect Iranian cargo, prohibit the servicing of Iranian vessels involved in prohibited activities, prevent the provision of financial services used for sensitive nuclear activities, closely watch Iranian individuals and entities when dealing with them, prohibit the opening of Iranian banks on their territory and prevent Iranian banks from entering into relationship with their banks if it might contribute to the nuclear program, and prevent financial institutions operating in their territory from opening offices and accounts in Iran.

      Fred - 2012-03-10 04:53

      In addition there are bilateral sanction between the EU and the Iranian, and between the US and the Iranian regime

      Fred - 2012-03-10 04:55

      The main problem with your views Fidel is that you make much of them up. They're fabricated to suit your personal desires and prejudices.

      Anthony - 2012-03-10 09:16

      This is exactly what most radicals/extremists do; make up their own stories and facts !! for this reason they don't watch any of these "prppaganda" stations, like BBC, SKY, CNN -Al-Jazeera etc. Why should they ?? When your mind is made up, and "closed" there is no further need of any info !!!

  • Larry - 2012-03-09 14:15

    Folks, we need to examine the Islamic world view as a seperate one from non-islamic view-points. We cannot apply and attribute Western thinking and mind-sets to the Islamic world. This is where we all fall down. I hope Moslems will bear me out on this, and would like to hear their input, not on their own personal mind-set (South African Moslems being as different to those in the Middle East as SA Hindus are from those in India), but on what they make of the general Islamic outlook as informed by religious and cultural inputs based on the following: The continued and successful existence of Israel is deeply humiliating to Islam. Israel makes Islam and the Islamic religion and god appear to be weak and false. ‘Honor’ to the Moslem is intricately imbedded within Islamic society and psychology. We in the West, or West aligned in thinking, cannot fathom the notion that a father or brother will kill their own daughter or sister for besmirching the family honor, even though she may have been the innocent victim of rape. What is this? The hurt caused by Israel is often likened to a cancer that must be cut. This is a universal emotion across all of Islam. All Moslems are united in this. The only difference is how they act it out. Saudi’s like blowing themselves up; but we are all wondering what the Iranians will do differently.

  • Larry - 2012-03-09 14:18

    It is a common mistake for us in the West, or Western aligned in thinking, to apply Western standards to the whole world of people as if there was no differentiation. It is acceted that Christian nations (Western) are more tolerant of different religions, gender equality, sexual choice and freedom, human rights etc. – under democratic governments. We are thus products of more open, influential, caring, technologicallty advanced societies. We simply make the mistake of seeing and treating Third World countries as if they live and exist in the Western paradigm. They do not. In Islam (Middle East in particular), for example, their religious intolerance, patriarchal closed society, under despotic feudal governments, informs individuals from school going age that the American (read Western) way of life is immoral and debauched. These people actually see the West as satanic, and a substantial, perhaps overwhelming number have deeply held beliefs that the devil must be killed and eradicated. You would feel the same way if your religion taught you that Islam is evil and its adherents were the devil incarnate. This is the Islamic world view held by a huge majority (not all, of course) in the Islamic world of 1,2 billion people.

  • Larry - 2012-03-09 14:20

    We can of course apply Western standards of thinking to Third World Islamic countries, but in the absence of like-minded reciprocation, all attempts at meaningful dialogue and commonality falls flat. This is the paradox between Israel (supported by western countries) and the Islamic people of the world (centered in the Middle East). It is also the main difference between Fred and Fidel.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-03-09 14:42

    Humans are stupid. "I don't want to live on this planet anymore."

      Jaba - 2012-03-09 15:02

      "We must prepare ourselves to rule the world" -- Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2006

  • Charles - 2012-03-09 15:25

    are these guys really that incredibly stupid? anyway which infrastructure are they thinking about dismantling to pay for this albatross?

  • pages:
  • 1