Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ABC: Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran?

According to ABC News, Pentagon seems to be getting ready to bomb Iran, with bunker-busting bomb on accelerated development and procurement.

Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran? (10/6/09 ABC News)

"Is the U.S. stepping up preparations for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities?

"The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a little-noticed funding request recently sent to Congress, the answer to that question appears to be yes.

"First, some background: Back in October 2007, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had asked Congress for $88 million in the emergency Iraq/Afghanistan war funding request to develop a gargantuan bunker-busting bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). It's a 30,000-pound bomb designed to hit targets buried 200 feet below ground. Back then, the Pentagon cited an "urgent operational need" for the new weapon.

"Now the Pentagon is shifting spending from other programs to fast forward the development and procurement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. The Pentagon comptroller sent a request to shift the funds to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees over the summer.

"The notification was tucked inside a 93-page "reprogramming" request that included a couple hundred other more mundane items.

"Why now? The notification says simply, "The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOP is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON." It further states that the request is endorsed by Pacific Command (which has responsibility over North Korea) and Central Command (which has responsibility over Iran). "

By the way, the Senate passed the $636 billion defense bill today, with 1 Democratic Senator (Feingold) and 6 Republican Senators (including John McCain) opposing. With troop increase in Afghanistan increasingly likely, the war planning of the U.S. government is shifting into high gear.

(A kiss of death to the stock market rally since March, or will the "irrational" market jump up on the news?)

Senate Passes $636 Billion Military Bill (10/6/09 Antiwar.com)

"The Senate today voted 93-7 in favor of the $636 billion defense appropriations bill to provide funding to the US military over the fiscal year beginning this month.

"The bill includes $128.2 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bars President Obama from transferring any of the suspects at Guantanamo Bay to the US for trials.

"Two of the Senators voting against the bill, Sens. McCain and Feingold, objected to the $2.5 billion in continued funding for C-17 military aircraft. The Pentagon has said it doesn’t want the aircraft, and the Obama Administration has sought to cancel the funding for them.

"Sen. Feingold was the only Democrat to vote against the bill. The six Republicans included Sens. McCain, Enzi, Coburn, Demint, Barrasso, and Graham."


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