Aside from the question of whether such an attack is remotely politically palatable for Americans at home or U.S. allies abroad, there are serious practical challenges to consider. Iran’s nuclear and military facilities are spread across the country, and the nuclear sites are believed to be buried deep underground. But Wald says U.S. bombs could hit them. “There are new weapons that have been developed. They’re coming along pretty quick. There’s a 30,000-pound penetrator [bomb] that the Air Force is getting ready to field, that penetrates quite a bit,” he says.
The bomb, known as the “massive ordnance penetrator,” is designed to destroy deeply buried targets, such as hardened concrete facilities and tunnels.
But the question remains whether the U.S. knows enough about Iran’s nuclear facilities to sufficiently attack and set back the program. Iran is believed to maintain undeclared, clandestine sites.