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Hey Iran Look At This
Pentagon Readies the MOP

The Obama administration will apparently not be relying solely on carrots to get Iran to sign on the dotted line come June. It is also pointedly caressing a brand new stick as well:

Details about the weapons work came from senior U.S. officials who were briefed on testing of the weapon but who weren’t involved the Obama administration’s Iran diplomacy.

The Pentagon declined to comment on any improvements to the so-called Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP. […]

The Pentagon designed the bunker buster with heavily fortified sites—including Iran’s Fordow installation—in mind. Fordow is built into a mountain to protect the facility from U.S. or Israeli airstrikes.

To destroy or disable the underground facilities, the Pentagon envisages guiding two or more of the bunker busters to the same impact point, in sequence, extending the weapon’s burrowing power, the officials said.

To make that level of precision possible, upgraded electronic countermeasures have been added to the weapon to prevent jamming of its guidance systems by the Iranians, according to the senior U.S. officials. Electronic jammers could be used to throw an incoming bomb off target.

That these details were leaked just as the preliminary agreement was announced makes this about as clear an example of diplomatic signaling as you’re likely to see. And we might be seeing a good deal more of this kind of stuff in the near future, given both the ambiguities in the framework agreement and the complicated politics playing out in both Washington and Tehran in the run-up to June 30.

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  • FriendlyGoat

    And somehow this got underway before the arrival of Tom Cotton. Who would have imagined such under Barack Obama?

    • Tom

      I suspect, given the military R&D cycle, that this was underway before the arrival of Barack Obama to the US Senate.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Maybe Jimmy Carter’s days?

        • Tom

          More likely Reagan.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Bet we don’t know that. May have been Clinton, or even Obama.

          • Tom

            And f1b0nacc1 has answered us both.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Actually, he answered you. I’m standing with the idea that it would be ridiculous to believe that only Republican presidents ever presided over the inception or completion of any weapons program.

      • f1b0nacc1

        To be precise, the MOP was started in 2003, during W’s administration, but bunker-busters are nothing new. The really, really big ones, on the other hand, pretty much all start with Daddy Bush in 1990. Before that we have a significant number of smaller designs, many of Vietnam-era vintage.

  • Fat_Man

    If they really wanted to send a signal, they would have parked 2 aircraft carriers off Iran’s shores.

    • f1b0nacc1

      I believe that Daryl Zanuck said it best…”If you want to send a message, call Western Union”
      However, if we are convinced that the Iranians need to have their attention engaged, perhaps a useful target could be found….

  • Curious Mayhem

    It’s not even clear that the White House is telling the Pentagon to do this. We have a pretty good idea of how disconnected the White House is from its cabinet. The Iran policy comes solely from the Oval Office, with Kerry as lap dog.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    This is utterly the wrong way to play this game. The Iranian strategy all along has been to use negotiations to gain time to build an atomic bomb. Any solution that doesn’t prevent them from getting the bomb is a failure.
    We shouldn’t be going after the underground Iranian bomb making sites, as we are bound to miss some. We should go after Iran’s entire soft target energy industry, every power generator, pipeline, refinery, and tanker should be destroyed. This would put all Iranians on foot and in the dark, no money or power would be available for years to build nukes. Iran’s support of Terrorism would end as starvation in Iran became the overpowering priority. And a message would be sent to all the 3rd world dictators that America can deny you the fruits of modern civilization, and you can’t do a thing about it.

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