Where is Rambo when we need him? During the Soviet war in Afghanistan the American CIA supplied Stinger Anti-Aircraft Missiles to the Afghan resistance for use against Soviet helicopters. As the war dragged on Hollywood sent John Rambo into the fray to take on the Russkies and blast their vaunted choppers from the Afghan skies.
The Afghan resistance movement which fought the Soviets morphed into the oppressive Taliban regime which gained power and influence in the international terrorist movement during the mid to late nineties while American foreign policy was embracing a “don’t ask, don’t tell” posture towards terrorism.
Once again Russian helicopters can be seen in the skies over Afghanistan. The Mi-17 helicopter was designed and built by the Soviet military specifically for use in their war in Afghanistan and now after a lengthy absence it has been re-fit and re-deployed. No need to bring Rambo out of retirement though, this time the Mi-17 is on our side.
The purchase of Mi-17s from Russia has been met with resistance here at home. Pravda reports.
U.S. lawmakers do not want the Pentagon to buy Mi-17 helicopters from Russia for operations in Afghanistan.
U.S. military has already bought 31 units of Mi-17 and spent 648 million dollars for this deal. Yet, the Pentagon has no intention to stop there and was planning to buy 10 more of these Russian helicopters in the next year.
This caused an uproar in the U.S. Senate. In their words, why buy helicopters from Russia while there are American manufacturers lined up for the state orders that are ready to supply their product for Afghan needs for the mere pennies.
Brigadier General Michael Bauer has agued the case for the purchase of the Mi-17, telling the Senate that “We must overcome the fact that we are talking about a Russian helicopter.” General Bauer believes that the Mi-17 is ideal for use in Afghanistan and that if the Senate should stop the purchase of the Russian helicopters it would cause a serious delay in the creation of a viable Afghan air unit. The Pentagon is attempting to maintain Mr. Obama’s timetable for the withdraw of American forces next year.
In addition to it’s deployment in Afghanistan the Pentagon “has already purchased eight of these helicopters for the armed forces of Iraq, another 14 went to Pakistan.” The Pentagon also is giving serious thought to the purchase of additional units for use by the Special Operations Command of the U.S. Army, the Mi-17 “would be ideal for camouflage during operations conducted by U.S. commandos.
Meanwhile in a seemingly unrelated development during Russian President Medvedev’s visit to Washington it was announced that.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that the United States and Russia has reached an agreement to resume exporting U.S. poultry products to Russia...
With the U.S. economy buckling under the socialist agenda of the Obama regime, one can only wonder how many chickens we will have to trade to Russia for each needed piece of military equipment. Gee, didn’t America used to sell helicopters, fighters, missiles and other weaponry to other countries?