It is being reported today that the Pentagon is considering seeking additional funding for the deployment of its “Massive Ordinance Penetrator” (MOP) bomb, the 30,000 pound bunker-buster weapon which would be the largest conventional bomb in the US arsenal.
The Air Force says that with enough funding the B-2 bomber would be capable of carrying the MOP by next summer, a goal which has been talked about by Air Force researchers for years. They were quick to say, however, that no decision had been made on whether or not to seek the funds.
According to Kenneth Katzman, an expert at the Congressional Research Service, said it was “very possible that the Pentagon wants to send a signal to various countries, particularly Iran and North Korea, that the United States is developing a viable military option against their nuclear programs.”
But the move would seem to run contrary to Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ previous statements that the administration is eschewing weapons programs of limited use in favor of equipment that would actually be used in its current wars. Massive bunker-buster bombs would seem to have little utility in the nation’s current anti-insurgency campaigns.