These days with all the discussion about Iran, the question is exactly *what* anyone thinks the United States could do to reduce Iran's Nuclear Ambition by force.
I continue to see comparisons drawn Israel's successful destruction of Saddam Hussein's Nuclear Program in the 1980s but do not think anyone fully realizes the enormous differences between the two.
First and foremost, this wouldn't be a campaign of half a dozen F16s carrying out a daring raid (where success or failure would be known before they even returned to their home bases).
This would require a MASSIVE air campaign. First and foremost, the Iranians aren't stupid. They've had 30+ years to watch others do exactly what they are attempting to do (make no mistake, I DO believe the Iranian leadership thinks it would be "neat" to have Nuclear Weapons...to piss us off if absolutely nothing else.)
They've spread their entire Nuclear Infrastructure around the whole of the country. Despite the "happy thoughts" people seem to be telling themselves, there is no single point of failure. There is no single place we can attack and destroy any significant piece of their Nuclear Work.
The weapons in this seed are the largest conventional Bunker-busters ever built, 30,000 pounds each. They are so large that only two can be carried on a B-2 Stealth Bomber (and considering the size and scope of Iran's Air Umbrella, B-2s would be the primary delivery vehicle though B-52s can also carried two if their internal bomb bays are modified).
The United States currently has 19 B-2 Stealth Bombers. Assuming all were devoted to the task of eliminating Iran's Nuclear Facilities (which would mean removing them from active Nuclear Alert, BTW -- speaking to those who see Russia as a continued Nuclear Threat to the United States), that would mean the United States could launch a counter-force strike against buried Iranian Nuclear Targets consisting of 38 bombs.
Again, we're assuming every B-2 in the United States arsenal was used and that all bombs worked as designed (while very uncommon, "duds" still do occur occasionally).
Also, again, that would mean removing the B-2s from Active Nuclear Alert for the duration of an Iranian Conflict...something that doesn't sit well with those of us who still believe a Nuclear "triad" is the best form of deterrence.
BTW -- as a postscript to this story, the United States currently only possess 20 of the aforementioned weapons. I didn't include that before because it is rather a minor matter to build more, but I include it here just to bring the situation into perspective.