A "bunker buster" bomb with more than 10 times the explosive power of its predecessor is to be put into service by the United States next December, six months later than previously scheduled, the Defense Department told Reuters on Friday.The Pentagon's announcement gives Iran additional time to develop nuclear weapons without having to worry about an imminent military strike against its nuclear facilities.
The deployment's timing may help shape new calculations in long standoffs with Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs, much of which are believed to be underground to avoid detection and enhance their chances of surviving an attack.
The precision-guided, 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, is designed to destroy potential targets such as deeply buried facilities that are beyond the reach of existing penetrating bombs...
"Funding delays and enhancements to the planned test schedule have pushed the capability availability date to December 2010," Tara Rigler, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said in an email.
Debka notes that the moratorium on the bunker busters and a recent announcement by the head of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. John Kerry, saying he "needs time to consider" a proposed punitive measure put forth by Congress which would penalize firms that sell gasoline to Iran [and the insurance companies underwriting these sales], is an indication that Obama has chosen the "carrot" approach over the stick approach, hoping to lure the Iranian regime into making concessions by appeasing it.
Of course, this is merely a theory and nothing more. But clearly the bunker buster delay will only serve to embolden the Iranian regime in its quest to develop nuclear weapons.
Good luck with the soft approach, Mr. President, and make sure those carrots are sufficiently tantalizing, and pleasing to the Iranian palate. The Iranians are quite finicky about the quality of carrots they eat and the kinds of appeasement they are willing to ingest.
In a related development, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says tough U.N. sanctions against North Korea are successfully putting pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
Rice told the Associated Press on Tuesday that North Korea is indicating in various ways that it is feeling the pressure of sanctions and perhaps responding to it. She declined to elaborate.
Meanwhile, the AP is reporting that "the flight plan for an aircraft [recently] seized in Thailand with a load of illicit North Korean arms and ammunition shows that the mysterious plane was headed to Iran...", which seems to confirm Susan Rice's assertion, namely, that North Korea is REALLY "feeling the pressure of sanctions." Ahem.....
Thai authorities, acting on a U.S. tip, impounded the... cargo plane... uncovering 35 tons of weapons, reportedly including explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and components for surface-to-air missiles. The plane's papers described its cargo as oil-drilling machinery for delivery to Sri Lanka...Ah, the good ol', time-tested carrot approach. Diplomacy at its best!