The Cavalry: Bush comes through – Advanced JDAM sale approved

DOD leaving me stunned, if only I could be wrong like this every day

The only thing as good as a strike on Iran to jolt them into changing their ways, is the threat of an even worse strike.

I’ve been following the Israeli procurement requests with avid interest. It has been clear that the United States has been intent on limiting sales to defensive systems, the denial of advanced JDAMS, possibly the F-22, mixed in with limiting refuelling tanker purchases has all but made it clear what the US position on the use of Israeli force is.. A big Ixnay.

The advanced penetrating satellite guided munitions were the biggest blow in the denial column, despite the plethora of assistance for missile defense that has been offered in support, these bombs provide a decisive advantage for any long range strike should it one day become necessary.

Bush is a champ

DOD has been adamant, but it appears the US is not prepared to leave its ally hanging and Haaretz is reporting that the Advanced JDAMS sale has been suddenly approved despite serious reservations, DOD gives the good word on approval by the ‘administration’, anyone care to guess who gave that order?

Despite reservations in Washington regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran, the American administration will supply Israel with sophisticated weapons for heavily fortified targets, the U.S. administration announced.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced it would sell the Israel Air Force 1,000 new smart bombs, rumored to significantly enhance the IAF’s military capabilities. The deal was approved amid public and secret messages from Washington, with the Americans expressing their reservations about a possible Israeli strike against the Islamic Republic’s suspected nuclear sites.

The Pentagon’s announcement, which came on Friday, said the U.S. will provide Israel with 1,000 units of Guided Bomb Unit-39 (GBU-39) – a special weapon developed for penetrating fortified facilities located deep underground.

The $77 million shipment, which includes launchers and appurtenances, will allow the IAF to hit many more bunkers than currently possible. Although each bomb weighs 113 kilograms, its penetration capabilities equal those of a one ton bomb, according to professional literature.

Most U.S. Air Force aircraft are able to carry a pack of four of these bombs in place of a single one-ton bomb. The bomb’s small size allows a single-strike aircraft to carry more of the munitions than is possible utilizing currently available bomb units, thus increasing firepower, or, alternatively, allowing the aircraft to fly longer distances to deliver a single bomb. [...]

I say Condi was a swing vote and she knows how to play hardball soviet style

President Bush is a true friend, this request was made to him personally on his recent visit in May for Israel’s 60th birthday celebrations, the apparent denial was a harsh blow. Indeed this approval is likely over objections by Chief of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen, and Sec. Def. Gates as well I imagine. The timing is ripe for speculation, Russia is making bold moves to setup shop in the Syrian port of Tartus, stalling the diplomatic track on Iran and building reactors, combined with news this week that Russian s300 air defense missiles may be in Iranian hands.. Maybe President Bush has got himself a two for one deal here, his last best parting gift to a close friend & a no nonsense message to Russia all rolled into one.

There is only one use for the most advanced deep penetrating buster around, and it is not crop dusting. I look forward to writing a profile post of the GBU-39 (update: done) this week here at the hashmonean.

Side Note:

Palin was very clear what her views (the McCain campaign’s views) were on the topic of preventing Israel from acting should Israel feel it absolutely must do so, during her 1st interview at ABC. Senator McCain has been equally clear for a long while now. If that ticket wins, it would be a decent bet these GBUs would have been re-requested and possibly approved then. If Obama were to win I imagine there is a small chance Gates might remain for at least a time as Sec Def, or he would be replaced with someone much less friendly to Israel. Would Obama theoretically overrule his own Defense Department for Israel too? That is one theory I am not eager to test.

Link Update:
Soccerdad looks at disinformation - Another great weapon of war.

  • So you feel that the U.S. government changed its mind. Isn’t it possible that it never really did and what we were getting in the past was a lot of noise leaked by
    1) people who had an agenda
    2) people who didn’t really know what they were talking about.

  • Bill, Richmond, Virginia

    Don’t get too excited, friends. The GBU-39 just isn’t big enough to penetrate Iran’s superhardened nuke facilities.  It is optimal, however, for taking out Hezbollah’s many bunkers in Lebanon.
    If the White House were serious about empowering the IDF to go after Ah’madinnerjacket, the shopping list would be much longer and heavier.  Washington’s concern is that the IDF, notwithstanding having the world’s best pilots, just doesn’t have the major-league hardware (like B-2′s) to deliver a knockout blow: if there’s going to be a regional war, Iran has to be castrated, and that means the USAF.

  • SD, what you mention is very possible & I am also certainly considering it.. But opted for this version of events because the overall package was announced after Barak was in Washington, it included all the missile defense pieces, the x band radar the patriot upgrades etc & at the same time reports of crucial requests denied..

    Now just this JDAM part is announced to Congress later after the rest was put through, it looks like a change of heart, or as I believe in the past month it went to Bush’s desk personally and he re-visisted the issue with Gates, Mullen, Cheney, Rice & Hadley as opposed to leaving it at the DOD, and perhaps overruled the original DOD decision or maybe it was decided collectively to go ahead, it smells of intervention, the clincher for me was considering what is to gain from dis-info that is put to bed mere weeks later? I do think the russia games may have also swayed opinions, I think the Bush Administration is frustrated at lack of success on the Russian field- this is possibly a good ‘two can play that game’ move imho.

    Hi Bill, I also agree in a US role something bigger is optimal because of American capabilities, however due to certain constraints on Israel aircraft & range wise I think the SDB is perfect for many many targets in Iran, Hezbollah could also be targeted but 1000 is a big order, only need 50 for Lebanon, but hundreds in Iran.. This bomb is an American marvel, I am hesitant to underestimate its abilities / uses especially in light of the fact we don’t have the big muscle as you point out in B52s & B2s.

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