Former Senator calls on Congress to provide Israel with 200 bunker busters and aerial refueling military aircrafts.
Former Senator Charles Robb co-chairman of the Bipartisan Policy Center said that in order to perform a successful attack on Iran Israel’s aerial refueling capabilities and bunker-buster bomb stores need to be enhanced. Robb, who was giving testimony at a Congress subcommittee, presented the material gaps in the IDF’s preparedness for an attack on Iran, and called on the United States to provide Israel with KC-135 aerial refueling military aircrafts and 200 bunker-busting munitions to supplement the 100 Israel already holds.
During his testimony Robb warned that an Israeli attack on Iran carries with it the danger that the aerial attack will fail to achieve its objective – deterring Iran from rehabilitating its nuclear program or completely negating its ability to do so. According to Robb, whether or not the attack is successful, Iran and its proxies and especially Hezbollah are expected to respond. This would include terror attacks around the world and a rise in the price of oil. Despite this, the possibility that Iran would obtain nuclear weapons was more dangerous.
Robb added that expanding Israeli and American capabilities to attack Iran would help pressure Iran in its negotiations and help convince the countries purchasing oil from Iran to adhere to the limits imposed on them. According to Robb, supplying Israel with aerial refueling aircrafts and bunker-busting munitions would help alleviate Israeli fears and thus will contribute to postponing an attack. And if an attack is in the end to take place it is better it be successful than if it failed.
Robb said that the 100 GBU-28 bunker-busters the U.S. provided Israel with, in 2006, were no longer enough and that Israel required 200 bombs of the improved GBU-31 model. This model, he explained, can be dropped from the same planes (F-15s and F-16s) and have the same penetration capabilities, but their tail kits are more advanced allowing for more accuracy. The result of this, according to Robb, would be more devastating damage to Iran’s underground facilities, a larger attack fleet, and the opening of possibility for a second round of attacks, in case these are needed.
Robb said that he believes the U.S. should deal with the Iranian nuclear threat with the parallel routes; negotiations, sanctions and preparation for an attack by preparing U.S attack capabilities, providing the Gulf States with a missile defense systems and munitions, as well as, providing Israel weapons. He said that he prefers that the matter be resolved through negotiations but called congress to fund the purchase of super bunker-busters dropped from B-52 bombers that are able to penetrate bunkers 65 yards deep, which is enough to neutralize Iran’s underground facilities. Currently the U.S. has only 20 bombs of this model.
Robb served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and as Lyndon Johnson’s military aide and married one of his daughters. He later went on to serve as a governor and senator.