Posted by Pam Suggs
The Pentagon ordered a couple of MI-17 helicopters earlier this year to replace severely damaged aircraft.
And in recent days it purchased 10 more helicopters to replace aging Afghan aircraft. The helicopters were purchased from Russia for over a half-billion dollars, according to Defense Department officials.
The monetary value of the 12 Russian-built helicopters, including warranty services and replacement parts, is reported to be $217.7 million, a Pentagon official said, according Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).
The purchases this year are part of a larger helicopter contract President Barack Obama’s Pentagon signed in May 2011 with the Rosoboron Export Corporation.
With all the accusation regarding outsourcing emanating from the Obama White House and his re-election campaign team, the Pentagon may be embarressed over the outsourcing of jobs and money to a Russian arms exporter because of concerns that the firm is also selling attack helicopters to the government of Syrian President
Bashar al Assad.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims that “there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria.” Moscow responded by saying it sold only defensive systems.
“The Russians used a Democrat tactic calling the helicopters ‘defensive’ systems when any fool knows attack helicopters can be used offensively one day and defensively the next,” said political strategist Mike Baker.
The original U.S. contract with Rosoboron Export entailed the purchase of 21 helicopters, with an open-ended option to buy a dozen additional Russian attack helicopters. The deal including engineering services and the 12 optional aircraft costs U.S. taxpayers upwards of $550 million. Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta this week that Rosoboron Export was “an enabler of mass murder in Syria.”
“I remain deeply troubled that the (Pentagon) would knowingly do business with a firm that has enabled mass atrocities,” Cornyn wrote.
“The helos that we’re providing for the Afghan air force are developing a very important capability that country’s going to need when the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission ends at the end of 2014,” said Pentagon officials in a statement. “They’re [the Afghans are] going to need some air force capability.”
“While Obama hammers his opponent Mitt Romney over alleged outsourcing of jobs and money, this Pentagon deal is just the latest example of Obama administration outsourcing that goes unnoticed by a news media that brought up an incident involving Romney in high school,” said Baker.
“The news organization sycophants would prefer the American people not know about Obama’s habitual outsourcing of American money and jobs,” Baker added.
One analyst, Jeffrey Cooperston of the Center for Military Studies, claims “the total helicopter purchase-package created at least 1,500 primary and secondary jobs in Russia.”