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American Tax Dollars Used To Buy Russian Helicopters For Afghans… Who Aren’t Trained To Fly Them

July 1, 2013 by  

American Tax Dollars Used To Buy Russian Helicopters For Afghans… Who Aren’t Trained To Fly Them
SCREENSHOT

America’s military-industrial complex has benefitted handsomely from the Nation’s ongoing Mideast meddling and, according to the claims of a watchdog, continues to do so — especially when the government is throwing money at projects that undermine its goals and have no beneficial impact on stability in the region.

The Pentagon currently has a $554 million contract to purchase Russian helicopters for the Afghan military. Here’s the kicker: The money used to purchase the choppers could be used by the Russian government to aid the Syrian regime in its ongoing battle against rebels, and the Afghans set to take possession of the aircraft don’t have the skills to fly or maintain them.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has urged the Pentagon to postpone the contract, which provides for $554 million worth of helicopters and $218 million for fixed-wing aircraft purchases for the Afghan government.

Even before reports that the Afghans lacked the know-how to use and care for the aircraft, lawmakers rejected the idea of purchasing helicopters from the Russian arms company Rosoboronexport.

Funding for the purchase was denied by lawmakers in the 2013 National Defense Authorization bill, but the Pentagon diverted leftover funds from its 2012 budget to move forward with the deal.

“American taxpayers should not be indirectly subsidizing the murder of Syrians,” Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) lamented when the purchase was made public.

According to the inspector general report, the Afghan Special Mission Wing, which will control the aircraft, lacks both the personnel and expertise it needs to use them effectively at this time.

The report warns that “U.S.-funded SMW aircraft could be left sitting on runways in Afghanistan, rather than supporting critical missions, resulting in waste of U.S. funds.”

The Pentagon, however, has opted to go through with the plan, stating simply that stopping the contracts “would not be in our national interest.”

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • dan

    Sequester : if they’re going to waste the money,take it out of their budget…
    if they really-really want the goat herders and shepherds to have helicopter-gunships let them buy them out of their multi-trillion dollar black-ops slush fund…
    yes,the one you covered up on 9/11

  • me

    The whole mess is turning into something like Viet Nam revisited. We’ll leave not accomplishing anything except losing a bunch of dead american servicemen. sameol, sameol.

  • Roger

    One can only hope the Russians will use the money to help Assad AND he is not the one killing civilians.Only a fool or grossly uninformed would believe that lie. The mercenaries SUPPORTED by the U.S. government et al are the ones killing civilians

    • rendarsmith

      After listening to Iraq Veterans Against The War, I believe you.

    • independent thinker

      Both sides are most likely eaqualy guilty of civilian deaths. The Government kills civilians they think might support the rebels and the rebels kill civilians who support the government.

  • Robbie

    The U.S. has tons of trade with Russia – in the billions of dollars. Regarding the helicopters it should be noted that the Afghans have been working with and training on Russian planes for ages and are used to them. In fact any American helicopter would be far too sophisticated for the Afghan crews and terrain. For that theatre the Russian planes are simply a better idea. It is thought that it would take three years or longer to train enough Afghans for the U.S. planes to make any sense.

    Of course the optics of this on a superficial level are not good for all of the reasons pointed out in the article. But if Americans want to be consistent they ought to stop shopping at Walmart and just about every other store in the country as most of what you buy there is produced in Communist China which is supposedly another enemy of ours. And a lot of those products are being made by American business people who prefer to pay low commie wages instead of hiring Americans. These are the same big businessmen who benefit from the Bush tax cut regime! So if any reader of this buys any of these products they are, in fact, part of the problem too..

    • ONTIME

      Yep them afghans are just to stupid to learn anything…..ayup!
      I wouldn’t mind seeing some tax cuts, some reduction of the size of government and especially a end to all government unions to cut the cost of government and end their special interest position…I will even let you pay my taxes.

    • BHR

      If the products made in China were made in America you could not afford to buy them. A computer totally made in America would cost about $5000.00. It would be great if more products were made in America but the cost of labor is to high do to high taxes and so many rules and regulations. Just building a production building is becoming more than most businesses can afford do to zoning, permits and land use. I live in Oregon and the average industrial building takes two to four years to finish. Plans, land use issues. Permits and community processes take years. I have been a building contractor for forty years and seen some projects take three to four years for the planning process then be denied. So tell me how to manufacture products in America people can afford?

      • Robbie

        Personally I’m not totally against having stuff made in China. What is often forgotten is that trade is a two way street. China buys a great deal from us too and if we expect them to have the wealth to do that they have to have a way of earning it. My only point is that it is silly for an American to complain about a lack of jobs in America if he/she is buying Chinese made products.

        Your question about how to make American made products more affordable is a good one. Wages in America must rise. If American workers earned more there would be more buying power. I am often amused by the folks who complain about unaffordable American products and yet also oppose even a .25 cent increase in the minimum wage. Some Americans – usually the rich ones – even want to do away with any minimum wage law which would soon see wages drop to Chinese levels ( a few dollars a day or whatever!). If that happened what would Americans then be able to afford? Not even basic food items.

  • ONTIME

    What a frigging insult to this country, this kowtowing ignorant Fraud in our Oval Office continues to be….A 2 million man march on Washington and a show of dissent and civil disobedience may well be the only way we are going to regain WTP’s representation…this gang of nincompoops and commies need to be removed.

    • Robbie

      But he’s been elected a state Senator, a federal Senator and President TWICE. That makes him legit all the way.

      All the GOP has is Donald Trump and Donald has his line of designer ties made in China.

      Do you really think you could get 2 million to march? Start working on it and get back to me.

  • BHR

    I can not believe how the Obama administration throws money away. How,did we get all these idiots in government. All the things our government is doing to destroy America, why is there not ten million people marching on Washington. I was in college in the sixties and protesting was part of our lives. If Obama was president then, students would have brought so much pressure he would have resigned. Obama has not brought people together, just the opposite. He started class warfare, made religious people anti American, made illegal immigrants able to get government help and made gays above religious people.

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