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USAF Providing “Options” for Dealing With Iran

by John Reed on March 1, 2012

While covering the Air Force Association’s big conference in Florida last week, I tweeted a comment by Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz where he said in passing that the service is watching Iran very closely. This is typical, I mean, can you tell me any time in the last decade or more that the Air Force hasn’t been watching Iran (does the RQ-170 ring a bell).

However, the general revealed a little bit more during a Capitol Hill hearing yesterday. As our buddy John Bennett reported over at the newly refurbished US News, the service has sent the President “options” on how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Iran’s defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons “has the attention of the [Joint] Chiefs and other national security officials,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters Wednesday. “Our obligation is to provide options” to the defense secretary and the president, Schwartz said, “and we have done that.”

 Now, this doesn’t mean that a strike is imminent, it’s the Air Force’s job to be monitoring geopolitical hot spots and to constantly update its plans on how it would conduct operations in them. Plus, Schwartz asked the most relevant question with regards to a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities on Wednesday; what would it really accomplish?
Meanwhile, former STRATCOM boss and vice chairman of the joint chiefs, recently retired Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright said last week that it will be nearly impossible to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Remember, he was in charge of the nations nukes while at STRATCOM and was the nation’s number two military officer until last summer, so he’s in a decent spot to opine on this.
What might a U.S. strike on Iran’s nuke facilities look like?
Well, it would probably be supported by a mountain of electronic warfare, likely provided by RQ-170 drones and perhaps some classified cyber weaponry designed to kill or confuse Iranian air defense command and control networks from afar. It may then turn to the Air Force’s B-2 stealth bombers, perhaps escorted by F-22 Raptors (insert faulty oxygen system joke here), carrying the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator. A bomb designed to punch through up to 30 stories of reinforced concrete.
But wait, you say, haven’t we heard reports that Iran’s facilities may be buried too deep for even the MOP to hit? Yes, we have. So, the Air Force (or perhaps the Navy using stand-off missiles like the tomahawk) could choose to demolish the entrances to the sites using a bunch heavy bombs (anything from MOPs to 5,000-pound GBU-28s to penetrate the tunnels followed by heavier bombs like the GBU-43 MOAB, a weapon that has been delivered to the Middle East before, or maybe even cruise missiles); entombing the weapons labs and whomever is unlucky enough to be inside them. If we got lucky and hit an access tunnel with something as big as a MOP, the overpressure tearing tunnels caused by the bomb’s explosion might have a shot at damaging the facilities buried inside,but it might not. I any case, these entrances would have to be so thoroughly demolished that it would take a very long time to dig through the debris and access the facilities, otherwise the strikes wouldn’t achieve much.
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{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

freds4hb March 1, 2012 at 11:36 am

Any chance there's a test article on the X-37b?

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mpower6428 March 1, 2012 at 11:38 am

nothing but "bomb porn" in this post. the MOAB is the kim kardashian of GBU's.

i have a question. seeing as nuclear detonations can be traced to their country of origin (manufacture) and if in the sci-fi world of a nuclear armed iran (somehow) striking the west with such a weapon…

is it good enough for you to know that the people of persia will cease to exist NEXT DAY? and further… who here doesnt think they already know that…?

the defense industry is working overtime trying too instigate a non-issue. iraq is over, take your bonuses and go home.

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Juuso March 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm

What makes you think that Iranians would drop a-bomb to Israel? They could have made all sort of other WMD’s what could devastate Israeli population if they wanted… but they haven’t done so.

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matheusdiasuk March 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Yes, you are right.

Personally (I don't know if is the right word) I don't believe in any kind of nuclear strike. Whatever the country. But in my opinion, nuclear power is a very dangerous thing and the Iranian gov doesn't give any guarantee that his nuclear program is for pacific use. And chances of a nuke fall in hands of groups that have nothing to loose is high, If Tehran get the bomb.

I don't ask for a preemptive attack on Iran facilities. But is wise to have countermeasures ready.

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Hale March 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm

There's a much higher chance of Pakistan loosing a bomb to terrorists than Iran. Iran by contrast is an island of stability compared to the countries surrounding it. (Georgian/Chechnya to the North, Af-Pak to the East, and Iraq/Syria to the West)

I think the Pakistani government has a higher chance of giving a nuke to terrorists (with India in their sights) than Iran giving the terrorists a bomb to the US.

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Jon March 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm

The biggest threat here is a government armed with nuclear weapons that clearly supports terrorism. Iran doesn't have to launch the nukes, but one of their proxies can carry one into just about anywhere.

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dddd March 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Also, I think Hezbollah and Hamas would be greatly empowered with a nuclear weapon, which does not suit Iran's interests. They want to control their proxies, not let them off the leash for to no strategic benefit.

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tiger March 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

You keep on playing the Peter Paul & Mary records. Perhaps Puff the Dragon save us all.

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Bob March 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm

The concept of MAD only works when both parties can logically, despite any ideology, understand that if what they do to another party is bad enough they will reap the same benefit to no value to themselves.

Even Marxist/Leninists (who purport not to believe in a God) were able to make the informed rationalized decision that the 'juice was not going to be worth the squeeze.'

Throw religion into the mix, particularly one that purports that when you die in the service of fighting infidels (can be translated any number of ways) you go to a greater place, the scale goes of out balance. The question you have to ask is, how hardcore, as believers of Islamic religious doctrine, are the Mullah's in Iran?

If one believes them to be blind adherents to the faith, then we have problems. Its not that they are going to lob one over the horizon at the USA (unless its off a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico), but they will plant one as close to downtown Tel Aviv as they can. The Israeli's will respond in kind with their South African developed nucs and flatten Tehran and large swaths of Iran. But, if the Mullah's (and Amadinejad is just a puppet) don't feel like they have anything to lose it throws the whole doctrine of MAD into question. The US, particularly with Barrack Obama as the CIC, is not likely to add any of our throw weight into the fray. To what end? Over-radiate Iran and the entire Middle East and make everyone there hate us?

The issue of the nucs, and whether we do anything about them, is more about the strategic issue of who is perceived as the center of gravity in the Middle East. The US or Iran? Right now, the shift is to Iran. We are having difficulty combating their asymmetric approach to influencing the region and fighting us via proxies. Because of our Western moral standards we are still largely bound to a set-piece, direct confrontational style of warfare (see Desert Storm). Even 9/11 did not really move us from that pathway. I am not sure anything ever will. The only proxy war the US has ever fought was in Afghanistan against the Soviets. Even then, everyone knew what was going on, it was just done under the guise of plausible deniability. It was two nation states with similar life-value view points fighting a war on a piece of ground that just happened to be called Afghanistan.

Its the introduction of religion, just like in Afghanistan, that creates the unknown variable. So, it is an issue. Just not the issue that most people take is as on face value.

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Steve March 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Well stated, but I think the issue of who resides in the WH is irrelevant, as even if it were Darth Vader himself, our former VP Dick Chenney, would not be using US nukes in a limited action (nuke or not) between Israel and Iran. Unless the US is hit directly or possibly the Iranians nuke a US carrier group, you would not see, under any circumstances a US nuclear response.

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Will March 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

A nugget of truth buried inside a mound of invalid arguments.
1st, the "Iranians are irrational compared to the Western-like Soviets" is all too much like the "Chinese are irrational compared to the Western-like Soviets" idea that was popluar before it was replaced with the "Chinese enemy of my Soviet enemy is my friend".
2nd, a gratuitous swipe at a President who put troops on the ground without notice of, still officially, an ally.
3rd, we like conventional war because we're f—ing good at it. The Iranians remember what happened when we went to war against them in the Gulf in '88 even if we don't.
4th, the citizens of Nicaragua, Angola & Serbia, at minimum, would strongly disagree with the idea that Afghanistan was the only place the USA has employed proxies. Beyond that, we tend to support the status quo so the use of proxies is by the other side.
5th, from an Iranian POV, it's not only us vs them, it's the Sunni Saudis vs the Shia them, with the USA as the dog wagged by the Saudi tail. An idea supported by the history of the Gulf War.
The real religion factor is that Iran has chosen to be an enemy of Israel for no good reason. Israel will never be their rival for leadership of the Muslim world. If anything, Israel is their natural ally against the Saudis.

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Bob March 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Point 1: Double-quotations are used when quoting exactly what someone said or wrote. Single quotations would be applicable when paraphrasing what someone said or wrote. Since I neither wrote directly, nor inferred, what you put in double-quotations I consider your rebuttal invalid. To your final sentence in that point however I will grant you that after the split between the Chinese and Russian Communists in the late 50's the principle of the enemy of my enemy is my friend did come into vogue with real-politick effect. The Chinese Communists were a good strategic deterrent to the Russian influence in the Far East. The Chinese were still too occupied getting their internal house in order to be a threat to our strategic interests, but could serve as a nice buffer to keep those pesky Russians occupied.

That continued to serve dividends when we were able to use the Chinese as a supply source for all munitions and weapons we could pay for and ship to Karachi for turnover to the ISA and then the Mujahedeen to bleed the Russians dry in Afghanistan.

2nd point – That was gratuitous. No sane sitting President would use nuclear weapons as a response to a nuclear attack that did not directly impact American soil. I would have been better off opining that Barrack Obama is no friend of Israel. To your point though, he does put boots on the ground and planes in the air. And he keeps them there in clear violation of the War Powers Act. (Opps!) (I am inferring you were referring to the recent expedition in Libya).

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Bob March 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Point 3 – I never said we did not like conventional war, nor did I infer we were not good at it. I said we were not good at fighting the Iranians, or anyone else for that matter, in asymmetric warfare. I suspect that is a result of our being a Republic and not a Totalitarian society. The general public does not go for it as they probably view it as underhanded and so won't support it. Look how the CIA gets grilled every time they try and it comes to light!

4. I will grant you Nicaragua and the Contras vs. Sandinistas. Angola was largely a Cuban vs. Rhodesian/South African affair. We really did not play a part. Serbia was pure NATO lead by us. Pretty overt if you ask me. Other than Delta and the SAS snooping around for 'War Criminals' (see, that's paraphrasing).

5. You are correct. Been reading your Robert Baer, eh? Although, I am not sure that I see the House of Saud wagging us. They know the Iranians want to topple their family monarchy and are scared *&^%less. We, the USA, don't want that to happen as then Iran would control approximately 92+% of the crude output in the Middle East (I am including all that Iraqi crude they control by proxy as well). In the Gulf War, I can only assume you are referring to Desert Storm, the Iraqi's were the enemy. Not Iran. Nonetheless, the objective of the enemy (Iraq) was the same. Topple the House of Saud and control the oil. Our (USA) objective was to protect our strategic interest in 'free and easy' access to crude oil.

So, religion is at the core of the matter here. Thanks for validating my point! Oh, and don't forget. Iranians are not Arabs. They are Persians ethnically and Aryans racially.

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dddd March 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Definitely agree with a lot of your points, but the Iranian regime has demonstrated for many years that it can deal with its enemies. Remember that Iran and Israel had a very close relationship a few decades ago. But the general point that the more nukes there are in a region riven with religious tension, the worse, definitely holds.

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Liam March 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Bob: you hit the nail on the head…

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ChrisCicc March 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

They'll hit the entrances and they'll hit the main facility. What one bomb cannot do two or three in sequence can. Meaning, one bomb will open up the first 100 feet, the second another hundred, the third right in to the main facility.

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mpower6428 March 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

you're talking about blowing down a mountain with conventional explosives….

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ChrisCicc March 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm

No, more like digging a hole with conventional explosives. Keep in mind the hole won't be an empty shaft, it will be filled with loose dirt and gravel. But now that's it loose, the next bomb can easily pass through it, and so forth. The MOP can penetrate hundreds of feet of loose dirt and rock.

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Pondering Guest March 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm

i wonder if they can rough-hew a mine shaft this way…

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Loadtoad March 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

You're talking about consecutive miracles, to date only one aircraft with one weapon has ever attained that, the aircraft is retired/in moth balls. You will never see that kind of accracy with GPS guided weapons, GPS weapons are getting better but they rely heavy on the number of sattelites attained and you need many to increase accuracy. Laser guided can provide the accuracy, but there are no laser guidance kits for MOP, that I am aware of.

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ChrisCicc March 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm

You're a decade out of date.

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 5:51 am

This is an insane conversation IMO. Has anyone really really looked at the maps? Looked at where we have our navy martialed? I do NOT favor Iran getting a nuke in any way, but this is a very bad bet for America. We can't get there through Damascus – that's certain. We can't get there from Azerbajain – not really… We can't get there from the Red Sea with any degree of ease… And we can't get there from Afghanistan, not now… And we better not leave our 5th fleet sitting in the port at Bahrain or it's going to look like Pearl Harbor.

Did anyone take notice on March 1, 2012, that terrorists blew up 1 of 2 of the main pipelines that goes from that port clear across Saudi to Jidda Port and that they did it right under our stinking noses??? THAT WAS A F…..'IN MESSAGE in my humble opinion… See part 2

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 5:52 am

Continued…
And Israel? Heck, they couldn't row a boat to Iran…Nope – If we're gonna hit Iran, I'd say we pull the 5th and 6th out of the Gulf, retip a couple of dozen ICBM's with NON-nukes and push a few buttons… They could even use that new mach 20 bomb which would be best because it isn't based on any kind of actual tnt… otherwise, we're going to get a lotta people killed and spend money we don't have. And by the way… The Emerites, Israel, Saudi, and the rest who have the most to lose, THEY CAN PAY THE MONEY NEEDED FOR THIS EXERCISE… WHY THE HECK SHOULD WE PAY?

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Benjamin March 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Everyone is talking about using bombs,why not a commando raid into the facility? If it is possible we would be able to gain a lot of valuable intel and assurances that the facility was destroyed

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STemplar March 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm

A very valid point. Plus since we are going to suffer the inevitable backlash for taking a military option why would we just limit the op to the nuclear program? We know there will be backlash so why are we playing checkers when we should be playing chess. Hit the nuke program, sink the navy, destroy the air force, savage all revolutionary guard facilities, and at the point the Iranian regime is going to have far more problems than just reconstituting their nuclear program.

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crackedlenses March 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Right on. If we know there will be retaliation, we should hit the ground running and shoot first. If we can't make them like us, we can make them respect us…..

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tiger March 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm

"Guns of Navarone" anyone? Or a Desert version of "When Eagles Dare?"

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Liam March 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Why should we let our SPECOPS go in, just "carpet bomb the place, back into the stone age…and further back!! My Father told me how TWO just TWO Battleships leveled a whole mountain in under two hours during WWII. The fire power we have is 1000's of times more powerful today. CARPET BOMB THE PLACE…LEAVE A BIG HOLE!! That is a guarantee that Iran's Nuke capacity is not coming back for a long time!!

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blight_ March 2, 2012 at 12:05 am

If it was Iwo Jima, the Japanese in the mountain survived to kill Americans.

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Sgt. Buffy March 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

Iwo Jima did not have adequate naval support, the plan was for 10 days of a full naval bombardment day and night, but instead somebody up top decided that 3 days of intermittent fire was the same.

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M.L. March 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm

You would really need the right kind of President/Congress/and public support to do that. I just don't think it's really compatible with the national & international political BS of the day.

Now, if we did, I would love to see Putin's face when the news is broken to him.

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Michael March 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm

If 1 MOP can't penetrate deep enough, why not 3 or 4 on the same spot?

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Jay March 2, 2012 at 9:50 am

Too expensive of a weapon. Maybe 2 at the most. If you bring it in after four GBU-31v3 (the BLU-109 penetrator) it should be able to hit the tunnel and blow everything out.

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citanon March 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

A strike on Iran's "nuclear weapons development" will last 6 month and hit everything in the chain of supporting infrastructure….. all the way back to the power stations and water treatment plants.

It will be bad, it will be costly, it will be risky, it will be hard on the Iranian people, it will be bad for this country. Not a pretty thought However, you weigh the cost of that against a Middle East nuclear arms race and ask which one is worse? I will take the former every time. Thank you.

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tiger March 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

6 months? IF You take out the equipment & the Lab geeks. They have no program.
The enrichment equipment & the nuclear White coats don't grow on trees.

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citanon March 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm

The equipment is going to be replaced within 2 years. You won't get the geeks.

No, the economy and the infrastructure and defense capabilities need to be demolished so thoroughly that nuclear weapons work becomes second priority to survival of the regime. Then you might make enough of a dent to make this thing worth while.

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melcyna March 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm

You don't finish it with just one strike that you complete in a day, You'll have to blast their labs yes, then TRACK the result and see if you actually achieve the objective or if they managed to save something out of it and relocate them.

In BEST case scenario where a strike within a week including those that are heavily defended, wiped all of the known targets and that's really the best you can possibly get, you then still have to monitor and wait to see if the intelligence confirms the destruction and loss of their capability or if they actually still retain some that was not within the previously known info.

A process that will obviously be complicated by the fact that once the bombs start dropping they are gonna do everything they can to make any further attempt as difficult as possible and they will hide the rest as best as they can. It's a whack a mole with the mole refusing to pop back up after being hit.

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mike j March 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm

The US Intelligence Community (CIA, DIA, State, etc.) have said more than once that the Iranian Bomb program was halted in 2003 and, best anyone can tell, has NOT been restarted.

At the same press briefing that DT got this quote from Gen. Schwartz, he also said "Everything we have to do has to have an objective. What is the objective? Is it to eliminate it? Is it to delay? Is it to complicate? What is the national security objective?”

Well?

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Clay March 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I trust what I read in a fortune cookie as much as I trust what our "Intelligence Community" tells me.

The "US Intelligence Community" should always end their briefings with the words "in bed".

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mike j March 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm

And what are you basing that opinion on, Clay?

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KarlW March 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Very good point. If there's no defined, achievable, and sustainable war aim one should never go to war. The Iranians will very likely rally round an (unpopular) leader, and retaliate. Besides, Iran / Persia is a very old and subtle country, well versed in realpolitik, and there's a fierce power struggle going on behind the scenes. We'd be much better off encouraging the moderates in Iran.

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Lance March 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

They'll probably use F-15Es armed with Bunker busters. Like the bomb drawing on top though.

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Uranium238 March 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm

If they are using Raptors as escort, it will be a turkey shoot against the IRIAF. They wouldn't even see them coming, rather only the AMRAAMs shot from the F-22s.

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tiger March 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Hmmmm….. The Raptors you can't breathe & fly at the same time? Turkey shoot for whom?

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Brad March 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm

1 plane has crashed because of that in 10 years.

Theres more than one Raptor in the U.S Air Force, thus your pro-Iranian logic is flawed.

Why don't you ask the Mullah's what they think of the F-22.

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Sam March 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Why should Iran be forced to let in IAEA when Israel has denied the IAEA access for decades? Oh yea, Israel playing the victim card once again.

Now start throwing the anti- jew comments at me. That's what always happens when someone says something negative about Israel.

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Liam March 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm

No Anto Jew comments…just this, the Iranians, lie and cheat worse then we do, and yes the Israelis, I am part Jewish. I was told this by a Israeli member of Parlement (the Kenesset) one time: ": All countries are like selfish children, you have to keep them out of trouble or else you will have much grief" Guess the man was right!

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Anonymous March 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm

"the Iranians, lie and cheat worse then we do"

How many American bases surround Iran? And how many Iranian bases surround America?

Wouldn't you want to build a nuclear bomb if you were surrounded by your enemy? Yes – you would.

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MsgtAFRet March 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

An idea for you Anonymus, if you care so much for the poor misunderstood Iranians, why not grace them with your repsence. I for one won't miss you ignorant liberal blather.

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passingby March 11, 2012 at 12:27 am

a better idea – send ignorant vicious brain dead warmongers like you to Israel, or Iran.

Hale March 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Didn't Israeli agents steal nuke-tech from the US. Also, Mossad isn't exactly the most honest bunch around.

Regardless. I think we need to just stop rationalizing this and just go ahead and do it. It's clear that we're pretty OK to jump at every opportunity to bomb Muslims as long as it increases our geopolitical standing and/or decreases someone else's. The tax payers can generally be convinced via fear-mongering.

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Belesari March 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm

You mean besides being the largest terrorist supporter on the planet?

And the fact that they will be able to hold THEIR Entire Nation hostage in basic slavery?

Theres also that stuff about them helping the North Koreans and all those "destroy Israel" rants and the supporting of narco terrorist groups in south america and africa………..But i mean other than that what reason is there!??!!!!!

Oh yea forgot the whole ME nuclear arms race that will develope if iran gets the nuke too………some other stuff.

Oh wait im sure thats all just evil Zionist propaganda………

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Hale March 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

"You mean besides being the largest terrorist supporter on the planet?"

Oh, darn. I thought you meant Pakistan.

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passingby March 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

The largest terrorist country right now is … the United States. Take a bow.

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STemplar March 2, 2012 at 1:50 am

Because Israel agreed to UN res 181 and the Arab governments decided to kick off decades of war?

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Palestine March 3, 2012 at 12:45 am

Actually Israel never agreed to 181 and Israel is the cause of all those Arab-Israeli wars. Get your facts right.

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STemplar March 3, 2012 at 2:39 am

You are wrong sir, they did. That's why the Palestinian and Arab governments attacked within 24 hours of the creation of the state of Israel.

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seahag March 2, 2012 at 8:23 am

The slight difference is that Isreal has not vowed to wipe anyone off the face of the earth. I know, West Bank, Palestinians and all that. Spoils of war from the past and a touchy subject granted. Not suggesting a solution to that one. Just suggesting that Iran is a bit of a different entity and has said what they intend to do. Wish I could believe that they would suddenly become rational upon development of a nuclear devise – but I can bring myself to by it.

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Clay March 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

They've been proven wrong so many times? Please mike, I can't list them all.

I just believe they have a inclination to, let's say, "embellish" things.

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Brad March 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

This article made me realize something.

I always assumed an air attack on Iran would take place at night, but what if it was during the day? When all the nuclear program workers are at those sites. That could whipe out their program completley if most of them were killed. (It was the idea of trapped scientists in the collapsed tunnels that got me thinking about this)

I wonder the cost/benefit of a daytime attack would be given that it would assuredly cost the attacker more losses.

From some reports it looks like Israel (if they have to go it alone) is planning a limited ground operation at Fordow to destroy it since they do not have bunker busters that can go deep enough. I hope that they do not have to do that, and if they time comes, we can at least provide a few B-1/ B-2 overflights.

Also, any drilling experts out there? The Iranians would not necessarily have to clear out the existing tunnels if they were bombed, they could just drill a new hole, I know Fordow is granite but how long would that take? Long enough to starve/ dehydrate to death? I assume airvents would prevent asfixiation but that might be possible to?

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Hale March 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Where's our stockpiles of Sarin or VX? We should drop a bit down there just to make sure.

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Nick March 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Just put a nuke on a bunker buster and level the mountain… Most of the radiation would remain underground anyways, so wtf…. Besides, they’re bombing a nuke base, they could always say the hit a nuke reactor as a scapegoat. EMP all of Iran then bomb the shit out of em,

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Hale March 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Nuclear reactors do not explode like a nuclear bomb when hit by a nuke. Also it will be obvious to China and Russia what happened. An EMP would knock out more of our satellites than it's worth.

I sometimes wish something crazy like your suggestion would happen just so you could observe the consequences and realize why it's a terrible idea. There's a very good reason the only nukes ever actually used were the first ones ever made and was used when we were fighting our most deadly war ever and at a time of insurmountable human suffering.

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blight_ March 2, 2012 at 12:01 am

"Besides, they're bombing a nuke base, they could always say the hit a nuke reactor as a scapegoat"

The I-131 would give it away. Besides, the world got pretty good at monitoring nuclear tests during the Cold War. That skillset didn't disappear overnight.

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tiger March 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I'm I the only who looks at that picture of the MOP falling & gets a flashback of Slim Pickens' last ride….

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beckett March 5, 2012 at 7:37 am

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Roger Beaman March 2, 2012 at 5:40 am

Novice "26 years old": I believe we support our enemies and contradict ourselves diplomatically by giving billions to those who perpetually undermine and threaten the us. However, I do also understand some instances you must buy ours our foes. Israel is fulling capable of dealing with Iran, and rather quickly. Why would we even need involved when not needed.

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CDS March 2, 2012 at 8:08 am

There's really nothing to be surprised about, here. We have people whose job is to plan out options to go to war with various countries even if there are no tensions between us. All they did was pull a file down off the shelf.

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Mitchell March 2, 2012 at 8:25 am

The best resolution to the Middle East nuke race is for the US to pre-emptively attack and destroy Israel's nuclear arsenal. Israel – not Iran – is the major threat to world peace. Boobus-Americanus has been indoctrinated en masse to hate Muslims, Arabs and Persians. The controlled media in the US is the enemy. Iran should be and could be a major US ally if the US government would acknowledge the fact that it is Israel, in her mad quest to create the New World Order that is the cause of turmoil in the Middle East.

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tiger March 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

Your opinon is duly noted. Laughable on many levels however.

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STemplar March 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

Sure, our ally, right, they've clearly demonstrated that over the last 30 years, the hostage thingy, barracks bombing, IED support in Iraq, all misunderstandings. They really actually wanted to be our ally.

You should probably ease up on the medical marijuana card.

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MSgtAFret March 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Put the crack pipe down and back away slowly. Icantgetajob doesn't even like himself much less America. The boy has been eating peas with a straw too long and has oxygen deprivation. Apparently your well thought out logic shows you have had a meal or two with him. Our ally? In what world do you live? You have to be a liberal to buy in to the notion that Israel, not the Iranians are the terrorist and supporters! I supervised the dog handlers sent in to search and secure while we loaded the 244 in Beruit to give testimony to the affable persona of the Iranians. Go peddle you crap somewhere else, it won't sell here!

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passingby March 10, 2012 at 11:43 pm

looks like you could use a new monkey brain transplant.

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passingby March 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Israel's nukes have come from the US and the Israeli government has more power over the US government than all the American voters combined. Heck, even the pro-Israeli lobby has more power on US foreign policies than Americans themselves.

Yes, the mainstream media in the US is nothing more than a propaganda apparatus of the establishment. And it's working overtime in promoting another war in the Middle East. Looks like the warmongers are winning.

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ZioFrog March 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Israel obtained its nuclear technology from France, with no help from the US. You have no idea what you're talking about.

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passingby March 16, 2012 at 4:58 am

you'd have to be a child to actually think that Israel has received no help from the US.

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Manidher November 20, 2012 at 2:17 am

Paneer Jan actually Palestine is the Israel and US prlbeom, it currently works as a good hedge for Iran like it always did, you need to read the history carefully to see how it was resolved in the past, history will kind of repeat itself, Truman said the knowledge we don’t have is the history we have not read. Actually I come from a city that a lot of proud Iranian Jews live there

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Arrowz March 2, 2012 at 8:59 am

It honestly doesn't matter how deep the nuke bunkers are if they can't get out.

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rrojohnso March 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm

With the accuracy of these weapons these days, they could simply drop the big guy right on the spot, and in the amount of time it take to turn around for a second run, drop a second one in or near the same spot. If the bomb goes to the limit of it's abilities, and explodes, it will loosen the material around it enough that even if the follow up is several feet off, it will still be able to penetrate much deeper. Just a thought… besides, we should be able to track where these tunnels are enough to know where the 'underground hubs' may be, and if you drop another big one on or near it, you will lock these people in, choking out their abilities to produce (let alone survive en mass).

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Tron March 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm

MOP = GAME OVER

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 5:19 am

Why is the admin continueing to delete my posts?

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STemplar March 3, 2012 at 11:55 am

It's not the admin, it's some glitch that causes it. Not sure why.

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Thank you for your kind reply. I tried at least 3 times last night to post including this question, and they were deleted immediately… I thought I did something wrong but couldn't figure out what. In fact, I can't even figure out why I have that big -55 by my name. Anyway, thanks again Templer. I will try again to write my post shortly. I thought it was worthy of consideration and sharing. ok, this is my 3rd attempt to post this reply too… what's up with this – they keep deleting everything???

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm

After many many attempts (and now this one) to reply to you, I decided to write to admin. I am unable to post anything at all and I do not know why. But thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Thank you for your kind reply Templer. I tried at least 3 times last night to post including this question, and they were deleted immediately… I thought I did something wrong but couldn't figure out what. In fact, I can't even figure out why I have that big -55 by my name. Anyway, thanks again Templer. I will try again to write my post shortly. I thought it was worthy of consideration and sharing. ok, this is my 4th attempt to post this reply too… what's up with this??? They keep deleting everything I write!!!

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Thank you for your kind reply Templer. I tried at least 3 times last night to post including this question, and they were deleted immediately… I thought I did something wrong but couldn't figure out what. In fact, I can't even figure out why I have that big -55 by my name. Anyway, thanks again Templer. I will try again to write my post shortly. I thought it was worthy of consideration and sharing. ok, this is my 5th attempt now to post this reply too… what's up with this??? They keep deleting everything I write!!! AM I SUSPENDED OR SOMETHING FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON?

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

TEST – WHY ARE MY REPLIES BEING DELETED. TEST… TEST…

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 6:23 am

I'd like an answer from admin as to why my posts are being deleted tonight. I worked hard writing my previous post which required 2 separate postings. I didn't break any rules I'm aware of. Please reply or email.

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Infidel4LIFE March 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

nobody is talking about how Iran will strike back. Hope we got a plan for that.

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CoCowboy692000 March 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I have a reply for you as soon as I figure out why my posts are being deleted.

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BpSitRep March 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Do we wait n' see what Iran/Ahmadinejad does with the nuke when they get it? Or do we put them back a few years and into reality with a massive air strike? With people who rationalize everything via a 13th Century mentality, strength is the only thing they respect and respond to. The World has walked down the 'rational talking' road before, remember Saddam and 18 U.N. resolutions??!! Time for talk is done, over, fini. If talk meant anything to the Iranians, Hezobollah,Hamas, they would give up talking, trying to destroy Israel. They would have given up their nuclear ambitions without full compliance with the UN. They would have given up all offensive weaponry. But what have we seen??!! Only an increase in hostilities and arms build up. Time for talk is done. There needs to be a joint strike against Iran, the Saudi's had better join in because they'll be implicated anyway. Iran with nukes means Iran rules the Middle East, it'll be the Persian Empire II without a doubt. Strike hard, strike continuously for a week. If any Iranian surrogates want to stick their noses into this, then they get hit hard until they surrender. They talked they want war, give them war and all the horrors of it since it seems they forgot just how horrible war is. Then, and only then, they'll respect peace.

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VietVet March 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Does anyone out there pay attention to other countries who do possess nuclear weapons? Let's see now: Pakistan and India-what a pair to have them. China and North Korea? Syria? Then there is Israel who will neither admit to or deny having them. What the hell is going on here? As a Vietnam veteran who watched as we ran out of there with our tails between our legs I am sick of the US sticking their nose where it has no business. Great success in Iraq and Afghanistan? I think not! From the other person who stated saying anything negative about Israel is always taken the wrong way you are right. This desire to destroy Iran is nothing more than making sure we continue to get the Jewish votes for presidential elections. If you are a Republican I would surely not admit it as this group of Republican hopefuls are the biggest bunch of idiots I have seen in my lifetime. Just what we need – another war!

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bbb March 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

the atmosphere ,and people will have radiation health symptoms for thousands of Another Chernobyl .— Bombing A Nuclear Reactor will create radioactive fallout in miles. This could effect millions of people.

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Gary March 8, 2012 at 2:47 am

I sure wish people would learn to use proper grammar and punctuation. AND, proof read your comments. Half of these don't make sense merely because I can't make sense out of the poorly constructed sentences.

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modula April 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

war lover USA, u a fooling Ur own indoctrinated citizens, ""its all about war""
we are tired

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Adam February 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm

What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious knowledge on
the topic of unexpected feelings.

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crackedlenses March 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I hate to break it to you, but we have other countries called "allies". And there are countries who want to hurt our "allies". Now, we could tell them to fend for themselves, forgetting we wouldn't be here if it weren't for some help from the French, but then soon we wouldn't have any friends left……

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seahag March 2, 2012 at 8:18 am

Right and so we should just sit by and do nothing until it is too late and the nuclear exchange between Israel and Iran has begun. I only hope that the first manifestation of that mess lands on folks with their heads in the sand.

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NPCDan March 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

Yeah, war never solved anything! Except to ensure freedom for millions of people, disposing corrupt dictators, freeing slaves, and ending genocide. @ Anonymous, you are a tool.

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MsgtAFRet March 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Notice you're Anonymus. Could that be because you are a bleeding heart liberal demoncratic fool that wants to give Icantgetajob the first shot? You could use some education in cause and effect, but please leave the rest of us out of it. We do things the way we know works! If it ain't broke, don't fix it, understand?

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GLEN March 9, 2012 at 4:32 am

I say make the whole damm country a giant parking lot of glass, a great place to test our ageing nukes. and you miss jane fonda shut the f–k up.

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passingby March 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

The Iran threat is pure BS from the pro-Israeli lobby and the military industrial complex. But since 80% or more of Americans are brainwashed sheeple, the politicalwhores (e.g. Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, McCain, Mitt Romney, Santorum) will probably succeed in taking the US to another war.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4vmq1QcnZs

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M.L. March 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

True, but Iran isn't nearly as dependent on countries like the US economically speaking – I mean how many things in your house are made in Iran? How 'bout China?

China wised up – however to brush off every comment on a crazy middle-eastern government intentions is stupid. Look at Kuwait. We all said Saddam wasn't going to do it. He did.

Just a thought.

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blight_ March 2, 2012 at 12:04 am

The Chinese realized that if a nuke did go off, the Soviets would have the option of nuking them or the United States, and the same with the United States. There would've been a pretty large chance that the PRC would catch nukes and disappear in atomic fire. And as long as people in charge realize that, and the nukes are under their direct control and tightly secured and unlikely to walk away on their own or be given away to friends of the proletariat, than nuclear war wasn't likely.

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Palestine March 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm

So Iran withdraws from the NPT and develops a bomb to counter the Israeli threat. And Todd has nothing else to complain about.

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STemplar March 2, 2012 at 11:54 am

The B2 carries it.

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mike j March 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

You should ponder why the IC stood up to the neocons in 2007. You should also ponder why the IC has been consistent about in their analysis of the Iran threat through at least 4 and probably all 5 of the appointed or acting DNI's.

BTW, Doug Feith and his "Office of Special Plans" were never part of the intelligence community.

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ChrisCicc March 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

They can, what I stated is the official Air Force plan. Simply speaking, there are practical limits to the amount of mass a bomber can carry. So when that isn't enough, you stack them up. This has been done before, just not with MOPs.

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JLB March 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

(continued)

"Iran will definitely not mess with The US that's suicide with or without nuclear weapons."

–Would the threat of suicide stop an Al Qaeda zealot, or more accurately, an Hezzbolah suicide bomber? Most certainly not. So mutually assured destruction isn't necessarily the end of the argument. The real question is whether MAD will work against the leaders of Iran, and as someone else on this blog pointed out, that depends on whether you think the Mullahs are willing to die for the cause.

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JLB March 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

"How do you advocate to anyone you can't have that or do that in the mean time your doing it and your reason is I'm more responsible."

–It is important to be able to distinguish between factual situations. If the argument is "the US has nukes, so everyone should have them" then you're ignoring the fact that Iran has pretty vocally threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the planet. Not to mention Iran coined the term "Great Satan." Its the same reason that we don't let convicted felons have firearms — they have demonstrated a reluctance to follow the rules.

"Outcasting, disassociation boycotting, sanctions are the right things to do not attacking, that is morally wrong."

–And if these don't work, then what?

(continued)

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UAVGeek March 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Yes that's exactly what we should wait for. If we get out of Iraq that's between them they should fight it out all the want as long as they can't reach us. Why stick our hands between two hammers. Let's get Americans to work by helping clean up after.

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@ChrisCicc March 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Matt, the MOPs aren't for entrances or for bunkers/rooms/tunnels that aren't very deeply buried. These are for hitting the processing facilities that are 200-400 feet underground. You're worried about having enough B2s, I don't even think we have enough MOPs at this point to give 1 per plane. Our regular bunker busters can take care of the entrances and shallow tunnels and so forth, with the MOPs coming in to hit the deeply buried enrichment facilities.

FYI the whole scenario you paint about bombs per target is very, very wrong.

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STemplar March 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm

They can carry 2 each.

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blight_ March 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

That makes it a little better. I guess that means shipping MOPs to Diego and then doing round the clock rearm.

Can Diego even support 19 B-2 bombers? Or keeping B-2's in holding pattern, landing them in succession and rearming? Otherwise you'd have to tap the other B-2 base in the Pacific: Guam.

I don't know if the AF would want to put B-2 bases directly in the Gulf itself. All it would take is a some security troops defecting to destroy billions of dollars of strategic bomber.

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Gary March 8, 2012 at 2:33 am

Of course they are. They are getting old and don't have much time left to become martyrs. What better guarantee do they have when they reach paradise than to be the one(s) who decimated Zion? They have sworn to destroy Israel. Don't dismiss that as insignificant.

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