Western spy agencies for years have kept watch on a craggy peak in northwest Iran that houses one of the world’s most unusual nuclear sites. Known as Fordow, the facility is built into mountain bunkers designed to withstand an aerial attack. Iran’s civil defense chief has declared the site “impregnable.” But impregnable it is not, say U.S. military planners, who are increasingly confident about their ability to deliver a serious blow against Fordow should the president ever order an attack. U.S. officials say they have no imminent plan to bombard the site, and they have cautioned that an American attack — or one by its closest Middle Eastern ally, Israel — risks devastating consequences such as soaring oil prices, Iranian retaliation and dramatically heightened tension in a fragile region.
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How’s this for timing: by accident of Navy schedules, the U.S. military now has two aircraft carrier battle groups near Iran’s shores, with a third on her way, right as a bomb killed an Iranian nuclear scientist and Iran threatens to close off a key waterway. But while there was just one carrier in the region for weeks, the Pentagon insists that its ship movements aren’t a response to Tehran’s recent bellicosity. The U.S.S. Carl Vinson has linked up with the Navy’s Fifth Fleet , and is somewhere in the northern Arabian Sea. It’ll replace the U.S.S. John C.
<img class="size-full wp-image-66597 aligncenter" title="Avenger" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2011/12/114.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400" /> The U.S. Air Force is sending a single copy of a brand-new stealth drone to Afghanistan. Only maybe not just Afghanistan. Officially, the General Atomics-made Avenger — a sleek, jet-powered upgrade of the iconic armed Predator and Reaper — is heading to Afghanistan as a combat-capable “ test asset .” The Air Force said in a statement that it loves how the Avenger’s “internal weapons bay and four hardpoints on each wing,” will give it “greater flexibility and will accommodate a large selection of next generation sensor and weapons payloads,” as reported by Zach Rosenberg at Flightglobal.
Mysterious Blasts/ Deaths
Nuke Scientist Deaths