This is coolbert:
Here thanks to the DEBKAfile some interesting tidbits:
1. During the most recent trip to Israel by Bob Gates and National Security adviser Jones, the two met ONLY with the most highest echelon of the Israeli national security apparatus. The decision makers meeting the decision makers.
On the American side:
* Robert Gates.
* James Jones.
On the Israeli side:
* Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
* Defense minister Ehud Barak,
* Chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazy,
* Mossad chief Meir Dagan and
* Military intelligence [AMAN] head Amos Yadlin.
This is just about AS HEAVY AS IT GETS!!!
As you call imagine, the topic was Iran and the course of action to be taken - - BY THE U.S. - - THE ISRAELI TOLD TO "cool their jets"!! [literally and figuratively so!] Actions on the part of the U.S. to include:
* 1. Diplomatic engagement as far as it will go, giving it a chance to take off up until early September.
* 2. Failing diplomacy, the phased introduction of increasingly harsh sanctions against Iran.
* 3. If Iran continues to forge ahead with its nuclear and missile development, the US will resort to its military options.
2. Military options against Iran, if and when the decision is made - - to go - - will include the use of the latest incarnation [MOP] of the "Grand Slam" bomb. A weapon that has an ability to penetrate many feet of hardened overburden prior to detonation. Able to take out buried uranium [plutonium] processing plants, those plants manufacturing the "makings" of a nuclear weapon.
"if Congress shifts enough funds . . . [the] B-2 bomber would be capable of carrying the non-nuclear, 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, MOP which is designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers, by July 2010."
"The precision-guided weapon carries more than 5,300 pounds of explosives and would be the biggest conventional bomb the US has ever used. It can deliver more than 10 times the explosive power of its predecessor, the 2,000-pound BLU-109, and penetrate to a depth of 61 meters."
[normally the ratio of explosives to total weight of aerial-delivered ordnance is quite high. In the case of MOP, only one-sixth of the weapons weight is in actual explosive. The remainder of the weight being in protective metal to shield the "innards" of the bomb during penetration of rock and other protective overburden.]
3. "Burma is building secret nuclear reactor and plutonium plant under northern mountain with North Korean help."
This too is surprising? Burma is NOT seen as a player on the world stage and not thought to even entertain the notion of even dabbling in weapons of mass destruction? A repressive and brutal military dictatorship - - YES - - that is readily acknowledged. But a nuclear reactor and plant for processing plutonium? That is a new one!
Recall the recent incident where the North Korean merchant vessel was being tracked and shadowed en route to Burma. Was thought to be carrying munitions and other proscribed materials. Who knows what was on that ship? Turned around and returned to home port when the "heat" was applied.
Well, we have all about one year until the final decision will be made? North Korea and Iran BOTH are still on the table?
This world is a dangerous place!