According to security experts, a lot of the prime military targets in Iraq are hidden underground — which would make them extremely difficult to destroy. That may be why the military is so excited about the new BLU-118/B. This opaquely named weapon is a ”bunker buster” that can plow deep into the ground before detonating. Already given a test run this year in an attack on a suspected Qaeda cave in Afghanistan, the bunker buster may become one of the key weapons in an attack on Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The comparatively slim shape and the hardness of the bunker buster’s skin allow it to penetrate deep into the earth — as well as through more than six feet of reinforced concrete — before exploding. A special fuse delays the detonation for 120 milliseconds after penetration. And the bomb has a special ”thermobaric” payload design, allowing it to release a high-temperature ”energy burst” (a fireball combined with a powerful shock wave) that lasts long enough to incinerate whatever is in its path.