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Bipartisan House bill will encourage US to sell bunker buster bombs to Israel

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Bipartisan House bill will encourage US to sell bunker buster bombs to Israel

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NEW YORK — Bipartisan legislation will be introduced in Congress this week requiring the US Department of Defense to consider selling Israel bunker-buster bombs capable of penetrating heavily fortified underground infrastructure, one of the bill’s co-sponsors announced Tuesday.

The massive munitions, reportedly long sought by Jerusalem, are seen as an essential component should Israel ever attempt to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, some of which are located deep underground and out of the range of ordnance currently in Israel’s arsenal.

The bill would be the latest piece of legislation aimed at bolstering Israel’s regional military advantage — or Qualitative Military Edge — which the US already is legally bound to maintain. An agreement was signed between Israel and the US last week promising to keep to the QME, paving the way for Jerusalem to okay the Trump administration’s planned sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the UAE despite concerns about the move diluting Israel’s edge.

Speaking during a Zoom call with US Special Envoy to combat anti-Semitism Elan Carr, Rep. Josh Gottheimer said the goal of the US-Israel Common Defense Authorization Act will be to “help sure-up Israel’s QME in the region and secure both of our countries from the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.”

In order to achieve that goal, Gottheimer said the bill will require the Department of Defense to consult with Israel and report to Congress on Israel’s ability to deter a range of regional threats, “including whether transferring [Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) also known as] ‘bunker buster’ munitions… would advance both countries’ security.”

Gottheimer, a hawkish Democrat representing New Jersey’s 5th District, is expected to introduce the bill before the House along with co-sponsor, Florida Rep. Brian Mast, on Friday.

The effort to supply the ordnance to Israel is expected to face considerable hurdles going forward, both legal and practical.

US federal law currently bars the sale of such bunker busters, which the new bill ostensibly will seek to amend. Even if the sale were to be approved, Israel does not currently have an aircraft physically capable of carrying the massive bomb, especially all the way to a country as far as Iran. The F-15, which Israel uses as its primary bomber, can only carry weapons roughly half the weight of the MOP.

If the US were to attempt to sell an aircraft capable of carrying the bunker buster, it would likely fall afoul of the 2010 New START nuclear reduction treaty with Russia, which includes an agreement to prevent the sale of heavy bombers to a third party. The pact is slated to expire in February, but both sides have expressed a willingness to extend it.

The MOPs were not included in the $38 billion defense aid package the Obama Administration signed with Israel in 2016, despite reported requests from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which had vehemently opposed the Iran nuclear deal signed a year earlier and was believed to be interested in acquiring weapons capable of striking at Tehran’s nuclear infrastructure if need be.

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The 30,000-pound (13,600 kilogram) bomb was made operational in 2011 and later redesigned in terms of guidance and penetration, but has never been offered for sale to Israel. In 2015, then-US secretary of state John Kerry appeared to reference the bomb when he told Israeli TV that Jerusalem should have some confidence in an “administration that designed and deployed the weapon that has the ability to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.”

A smaller bunker buster bomb, the GBU-28, was secretly sold to Israel in 2009, though it is not thought to have the ability to penetrate Iran’s Fordo nuclear facility, which is buried deep under a mountain.

US officials told the Wall Street Journal in 2015 that the MOPs, if used, would have a devastating effect never before seen by a non-nuclear weapon.

The bombs are designed to be released in pairs, with the first burrowing through the layers of rock and steel that protect underground nuclear facilities like the one in Fordo, Iran, and the second to follow immediately on its heels and destroy the target.

While saber-rattling between Israel and Iran has faded since the 2015 nuclear deal, it has never totally dissipated, and Israeli concerns were given new currency Tuesday with a report from the UN’s nuclear agency that Iran was building a new nuclear facility underground. The centrifuge assembly plant is meant to replace one at Natanz that blew up in what Tehran called a sabotage attack over the summer.

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Concern regarding harm to Israel’s QME has been raised by members of Congress from both parties following reports that the Trump administration is hoping to ink a deal to sell F-35s to the UAE in the coming months.

Recent weeks have seen at least two other pieces of legislation introduced in both houses of Congress that seek to ensure Israel’s QME is maintained by building on the list of requirements the Department of Defense is expected to meet when selling arms to Israel or its neighbors.

Last week, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his American counterpart Mark Esper signed a “joint declaration confirming the United States’ strategic commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East for years to come.”

Though the agreement appeared to be a largely symbolic gesture as this responsibility is already enshrined in US law, the defense minister said in a statement that it does have real-world implications.

Though the deal is not believed to have included the sale of weapons, a security official told The Times of Israel that a number of them are being considered for transfer to Israel.

Days after that agreement was signed, Netanyahu announced that Israel had rescinded its opposition to the US sale of F-35s to the UAE.

 

DavidSling

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You see me crying ? its neither my money nor my country, nor these weapons will be used on my people so why would i cry ?
Yep, you're definitely crying.
Anyways, Pakistan receives the same treatment from China to serve it's interests so I dont see why you're so emotional
 

YeBeWarned

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Yep, you're definitely crying.
Anyways, Pakistan receives the same treatment from China to serve it's interests so I dont see why you're so emotional
again wrong, No one is crying .. Do you see me objecting to the sale ? No , I just said the kind of lobbies Israel have in US, and the grip they have on US establishment its easy to twist arms and get everything they want, haven't your country getting stuff from US from decades ? 3 billion Military Aid , US threat to intervene in case of any war broke out with Israel , Trump sided with Israel and left Palestinians .. so what I said was truth, not crying , you are upset because I told you the truth ..
 

DavidSling

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again wrong, No one is crying .. Do you see me objecting to the sale ? No , I just said the kind of lobbies Israel have in US, and the grip they have on US establishment its easy to twist arms and get everything they want, haven't your country getting stuff from US from decades ? 3 billion Military Aid , US threat to intervene in case of any war broke out with Israel , Trump sided with Israel and left Palestinians .. so what I said was truth, not crying , you are upset because I told you the truth ..
You said U.S sold their entire country to Israel which is not true at all.
moreover, u didn't provide any evidence to support your claim that Israel bought the U.S.
As for aid, Pakistan is probably getting more aid from numerous countries in form of loans.
Numerous wars broke with Israel neighbors, I dont recall the U.S intervening in any of them.
Trump sided with Israel, China sided with Pakistan, USSR sided with the arab armies, so what?
 
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YeBeWarned

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You said U.S sold their entire country to Israel which is not true at all.
by sold i mean they dance on the finger tips of Israel, the Jewish and Neocon lobby is very strong, its no secret to the world who controls the US policies specially the ME'ern, Hint the Son in law who is currently overseeing the ME policies is also a Jew .

moreover, u didn't provide any evidence to support your claim that Israel bought the U.S.
Oh i am sorry, I forget to add Legal documentation of the sell, Jeez ..

As for aid, Pakistan is probably getting more aid from numerous countries in form of loans.
Pakistan's loan are mostly economical in nature, yours is military Aid without any condition , US provide you military assistance to fight you so called fight for existence , for which you are removing the indigenous people from Existence .Why are you so ashamed to acknowledge US help to your country ? There is nothing wrong in it, just good lobbying is done by Israel same as India does it .

Numerous wars broke with Israel neighbors, I dont recall the U.S intervening in any of them.
almost every war you fought , war not skirmish you fought you have Western power backing Israel and USSR backing the Arabs , now its not even question of war cause Arabs are gone for good, plus Israel still has better technology and more diplomatic lobbying power than any or every Arab country combine, so your existence is actually owed to countries like British and America be grateful for it .

Trump sided with Israel, China sided with Pakistan, USSR sided with the arab armies, so what?
Look at the topic :)
 

DavidSling

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by sold i mean they dance on the finger tips of Israel, the Jewish and Neocon lobby is very strong, its no secret to the world who controls the US policies specially the ME'ern, Hint the Son in law who is currently overseeing the ME policies is also a Jew .



Oh i am sorry, I forget to add Legal documentation of the sell, Jeez ..



Pakistan's loan are mostly economical in nature, yours is military Aid without any condition , US provide you military assistance to fight you so called fight for existence , for which you are removing the indigenous people from Existence .Why are you so ashamed to acknowledge US help to your country ? There is nothing wrong in it, just good lobbying is done by Israel same as India does it .



almost every war you fought , war not skirmish you fought you have Western power backing Israel and USSR backing the Arabs , now its not even question of war cause Arabs are gone for good, plus Israel still has better technology and more diplomatic lobbying power than any or every Arab country combine, so your existence is actually owed to countries like British and America be grateful for it .



Look at the topic :)
  • So you're saying that Israel received military aid and pakistan received economical aid? okay and...........
  • You claim that the jewish lobby is very strong in america. well, duh...
  • Ofcourse our allys will back us, isn't that what allys are for?
So far you made some trivial points, which by no way lead to that "U.S sold their country to Israel"

Also, adding words like "no secret" and "it's known" does not make stuff true, even if you wished it did
 

YeBeWarned

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So you're saying that Israel received military aid and pakistan received economical aid? okay and...........
Pakistan never got Military Aid equal of Israel from America or any other country .. yes its true swallow it mate

You claim that the jewish lobby is very strong in america. well, duh...
not a claim, proven fact .. if you want documents of that lobby AIPAC is one of the example ..

Ofcourse our allys will back us, isn't that what allys are for?
yes they do, but America do more than what Allies are for, its more than allied relation ..

So far you made some trivial points, which by no way lead to that "U.S sold their country to Israel"
You are either naïve or just trolling ..

Also, adding words like "no secret" and "it's known" does not make stuff true, even if you wished it did
Why would I wished it ? according to you I am crying over the arm sale ? so why would i wished that Israel holds the grip of US establishment ? haha dude you are contradicting yourself ..as i asked you why are you so ashamed to acknowledge the fact the US has given you special treatment , military Aid without conditions and supports you even going out of their way in every war . Pakistan gets help from its allies in wars we are not ashamed to accept it, why are you ?
 

Flash_Ninja

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  • So you're saying that Israel received military aid and pakistan received economical aid? okay and...........
  • You claim that the jewish lobby is very strong in america. well, duh...
  • Ofcourse our allys will back us, isn't that what allys are for?
So far you made some trivial points, which by no way lead to that "U.S sold their country to Israel"

Also, adding words like "no secret" and "it's known" does not make stuff true, even if you wished it did
Pakistan used to receive coalition support funds as payment for its contribution to the war in Afghanistan, and it never at any point received the equivelant amount of cash, supplies, or equipment that Israel recieves every year.
 

The SC

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Usrael is getting more F-35s than they have ordered initially.. not even sure if it is that or the F-15X..that will be decided.. and some V-22 Osprey.. The rest like the F-22 and this proposal for the MOP bomb are unrealistic.. since Usrael will need big bombers like the B-2 to carry it.. and neither are for sale..
 

KAL-EL

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Isn’t this overkill for the Israelis? They’re already incredibly powerful in their Air Force capability.
 

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