Skip to main content

Operation Austere Challenge 2012 Back On In October

by | Monday, 30th January 2012
It seems that Bibi and Barry are best of friends again. Operation Austere Challenger 2012, the joint Israeli/US military "exercises", which were cancelled following a spat between Presidents Netanyahu and Obama, have been rescheduled for October.

Operation Austere Challenge 2012 will be the largest joint Israel/US military exercises in history. The exercises will involve 3000 troops, as well as the deployment of the United States' Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system and the ship-based Aegis system. Israel’s own Arrow, Patriot and Iron Dome missile systems will work in cooperation with their US counterparts.

The joint exercises were cancelled nearly two weeks ago, apparently following a disagreement between the two countries caused by a statement made by Hillary Clinton categorically denying any US involvement in the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists.

It seems that despite Clinton's intervention, and the continuing opposition of some serving and retired US generals, the US military buildup in the Gulf region has continued apace.

RT reported earlier this month, that the US has deployed 15,000 troops to Kuwait.

Two days ago, Associated Press reported that the US will be converting the USS Ponce, a forty year old amphibious assault boat due to be decommissioned, into a staging platform for special operations forces and sending it to the Gulf to join the two aircraft carrier groups already there.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon has informed Congress that it will be spending $82 million to further develop the Massive Ordinance Platform (MOP), a 30,000 lb bunker buster bomb "specifically designed to take out the hardened fortifications built by Iran and North Korea to cloak their nuclear programmes".

Although MOP can penetrate deep into hard rock and reinforced concrete, it is unlikely it can get near Iran's Fordo enrichment plant, which is buried inside a mountain. According to RT:

military experts are not sure an MOP can get to Iran's Fordo enrichment plant facility that has 60 meters of hard rock mountain above it. At the moment, only a tactical nuclear weapon of several dozen kilotons could guarantee the site's elimination. `Once things go into the mountain, then really you have to have something that takes the mountain off,' an unnamed U.S. military official is reported to have said.

So it seems that the anti-war with Iran factions within the US and Israel have so far only managed to delay the escalation of war preparations.

Help the UK Column by becoming a member: