Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Pentagon's Efforts To Make A Bigger And Better Hole

Recently the Democrats have made a new call on the White House to renew the search for Osama Bin Laden. General Westley Clark even devoted the Saturday morning Democratic response to this effort to get Osama Bin Laden.

And Iran claimed the successful tests of two new missiles a few days ago, one they claimed had near stealth abilities and could evade radar or antimissile defenses such as the Patriot Antimissile System, and could target multiple targets with advanced tracking abilities. Another sea launched missile claimed the ability to sink ships with the high speed of 230 miles per hour. Whether these Iranian claims are overblown is in question, or whether Iranian military scientists or help from Russian, Chinese or North Korean military scientists have given Iran a true serious number of technological advances is a good question.

But these twin problems of the Al Qaeda network headed by Osama Bin Laden who the U.S. has been so far unable to capture, and a rapidly improving Iranian military that may soon have nuclear weapons are held together by one military technology problem for the Pentagon; the inability to make a bigger and better and deeper hole. But it's certainly not for the lack of trying.

During the Reagan Administration years, there was a huge covert CIA funded war to topple the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Reagan Administration ran the largest illegal and covert foreign policy for any White House ever. Casper Weinbeger, the late Defense Secretary was a major player in this and even indicted over his role in the Iran-Contra Arms Scandal, but pardoned by the first President Bush, which avoided the public trial that would have detailed just how extensive the illegal and covert Reagan foreign policy actually was. But in these illegal efforts to wrest the Soviets from Afghanistan a massive covert effort coordinated through Pakistan and Saudi Arabia helped to train up and equip a 30,000 fighter Mujahedeen fighter army. This covert effort meant that Osama Bin Laden was recruited by Saudi Arabia to establish Mujahedeen training camps by the joint U.S. CIA-Saudi Arabian efforts.

Soon Osama Bin Laden built a variety of Mujahedeen fighter training camps in mountainous and remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And while both Osama Bin Laden an his brother deny ever having direct contact with U.S. CIA or other supporters, still the source of their funding from covert CIA sources during the Reagan years cannot be denied. With a variety of deep caves in remote Afghanistan and Pakistan in mountainous areas, Osama Bin Laden has made himself nearly impossible to extract. Equally much of the Iranian nuclear program is buried in very deep bunkers that U.S. "smart bombs" and bunkerbusters will not reach.

Since a 2001 military report to the Bush Administration, in which it was noted that many potential opponents have deeply dug themselves into safe entrenchments, there has been a real crash program effort to build a bigger and better hole maker bomb to get at these deeply entrenched opponents.

During the Vietnam War, the 15,000 pound Daisy Cutter was the biggest conventional bomb ever made. It would leave a nuclear type mushroom cloud whenever dropped. But has left the Bush Administration disappointed in Congress that they will not fund the development of a new generation of nuclear bunker buster type bombs known as the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator(PNEP). No doubt the use of such nuclear weapons violates various international treaties and would result in widespread world condemnation and possiby even U.S. sanctions or resolutions condemning the use of such a nuclear device.

Three other huge conventional weapons have been under development to make that bigger and better hole in the ground. One called MOAB, seems to conjure up a mental image of the Biblical death and destruction associated with this Old Testament warrior group. But in the Pentagon version, MOAB(Massive Ordnance Air Blast) is a huge 21,000 pound bomb dropped off a large cargo plane in a pallet with parachutes, that eventually soars towards a target with tracking and leaves a massive mushroom cloud that is clearly mistaken for an atomic bomb. Another called Big Blu is an experimental 70,000 pound bomb which leaves an even bigger crater in the earth and mushroom cloud. And a new test will soon take place of a 700 ton chemical bomb based on the soil fertilizer and fuel oil recipe that domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh used to destroy the Federal Building in Oklahoma.

It is not for lack of trying that the U.S. military has not yet developed the perfect device for making that bigger and better hole in the ground. But it is also reason that Iran has not yet had their nuclear program targeted, or perhaps that Osama Bin Laden has had his caves closed down for good.

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