Having a missile that can penetrate the Earth is important for armies as it enables them to destroy their enemy’s deeply-buried strategic targets. A sample of those strategic targets is Iran’s nucliear facilities that many people are talking about these days.
Fortunately (or might be unfortunately as you will see), it is not easy to penetrate the Earth much as it absorbs most of the energy of any rocket quickly. Practically, it is not possible to go more than a few meters underground even with the fastest missiles with very hard casing. One possible solution is using a nuclear warhead to compensate this problem by producing much more energy than conventional warheads. However, as it is shown in [Nelson03], even if you use a nuclear warhad, you need a very powerful one to destroy things deeply buried. For instance, if you use nuclear weapon with the power of Hiroshima’s bomb, you can just destroy stuff buried 30-40m deep. If you increase that power ten times, you cannot still destroy anything more than a hundred meters below the Earth’s surface (well! rougly speaking!). The important issue is that you cannot increase the yield of you nuclear warhead that much because if you do, you would ruin the whole area and hence kill thousands of people (I assume that you just want to destroy some special target and not the whole country).
If Bush wants to destroy nuclear facilities of Iran using his Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrating weapons, he would kill many people alongside. There is no safe way for destroying those with a missile (or you may propose a one and get DARPA’s fundings! (; ). And I think you, like me, do not want people get killed.
I want you to talk about this whole problems with your friends, write about it in your weblogs, write in your journals, and any other possible way. I know that no single one can do anything special about it, but I believe that if we talk about it much for a long time, and persuade others to talk about it too, we can spread the word to the world (remember the small-world network). If the world becomes concerned about the consequences of this possible act, those silly politicians may not think more about this hazardous option anymore.
Anyway, if you are not concerned about it at all, or you think that there is no use in talking/thinking about that possible nuclear disaster, you may still want to read [Nelson03] paper. It is fun specially for those who is/was interested in weapons, destruction, bombs, explosions, and etc. (;
P.S: You may also like to see this clip