President Obama sold a series of bunker-buster bombs to Israel in 2009.Originally promised to Israel by the Bush administration, the 55 U.S.-made GBU-28 bunker-busting bombs may have arrived too late to be much use against their most likely target — Iran’s nuclear program.
The sale shows the deep relationship between Israel and the U.S. despite quarreling between President Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu.
Journalist Eli Lake told The Guardian that on top of the bomb sale, Israel is coordinating a joint venture with some of its Arab neighbours, setting up an early-warning system to alert against an Iranian attack.
The bunker busters were a significant breakthrough. The Israelis first requested the sale in 2005, only to be rebuffed by the Bush administration. At the time, the Pentagon had frozen almost all U.S.-Israeli joint defence projects out of concern that Israel was transferring advanced military technology to China.
In 2007, Bush informed then–prime minister Ehud Olmert that he would order the bunker busters for delivery in 2009 or 2010. The Israelis wanted them in 2007. Obama finally released the weapons in 2009, according to officials familiar with the secret decision.
The article goes on to say that it appears Israel accepted the bombs in exchange for making concessions on settlements, but then reneged and kept the munitions.
When asked about the bomb delivery an Israeli official said: “The strategic relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is deeper than meets the naked eye.”