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  • Senate to Prevent Rosoboronexport Helicopter Sales to Afghanistan?

    Recently, 17 Senators expressed a concern over U.S. government trade ties to Rosoboronexport, a leading Russian arms exporter that supplies weapons to the defiant Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. On March 12, the Senators addressed a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stating that “Russia remains the top supplier of weapons to Syria, selling reportedly $1 billion or more worth of arms to Syria in 2011 alone.” These weapons are used to slaughter civilians opposing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Russian supplies range from ammunitions, sniper rifles, 240mm F-864 high explosive mortars to the most recent deal to sell Syria 36 combat jets. However, Syria is not the only country with trade ties to Rosoboronexport—the U.S. government is currently buying 21 dual-use Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan military. This contract is potentially totaling more than $1 billion.

    Assad will almost certainly use the Russian materials to slaughter anti-regime civilians and Sunni militants who battle his minority Alawite regime. The American lawmakers believe it is possible to use a different Russian contractor for the helicopters, as the U.S. Navy already did with its purchase of four Mi-17s. According to the Senators, “Continuing this robust business relationship with Rosoboronexport would undermine U.S. policy on Syria and undermine U.S. efforts to stand with the Syrian people.”

    U.S. and Russian disagreements over Syria are deeper than procuring helicopters from Rosoboronexport. Russia refuses to support a U.S.-led United Nations Security Council resolution that would condemn the Assad regime and authorize international aid to the rebels.

    Syria, where Russia has its only Mediterranean naval bases in Tartus and Latakiyehm, is only a pretext for the broad geopolitical competition in which Russia is engaging with the United States. Moscow wants to deny the U.S. and its European and Sunni Arab allies the ability to call the shots in the Middle East—a typical power game.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Senate to Prevent Rosoboronexport Helicopter Sales to Afghanistan?

    1. Rkapo says:

      And the USA has never supported any less than democratic States because of its own strategic interests?
      It is not doing that now in the Middle East for its own strategic interests? Like hell. Time to stop being two faced. What is the solution in Syria – tell me. I think a very wise man summed it up well the other day. "What is the best thing to do if two big dogs get into a fight. Try and break it up or just throw a bucket of water at them. The water of course. Step in and for sure both of them will probably bite you".
      I cry at times when I see the suffering but it now tends to go both ways. Innocent children and people killed by both sides. I now try to remain neutral – I simply do not know enough about the situation.
      Just like Afghanistan originally – the USA supported the Taliban [in there proxy war with the USSR - did any in the US cry for the Russian boys and mothers and fathers etc. who died thinking they were doing the right thing?] against the Afghanistan Northern Alliance Government only because it was supported by the USSR. The last half decent Government Afghanistan had. [The USSR was invited there - they did not invade as our Western "US" Media says all the time.] Was it wise in hindsight for the US to support the Taliban? NO! The Taliban ended up twice as bad as the previous Government and now we end up back there fighting the Taliban. Who knows who are the "good guys" in many of these situations. Sometimes the best thing to do is stay out of some things or we will end up with another Vietnam. That was a big mistake. I lived it.
      Lets face it – this Helicopter thing is mainly about national pride.
      The Russian helicopters are the best for Afghanistan in cost and reliability and maintenance cost and they have the pilots and people who are familiar with them from the days the USSR was there supporting the Northern Alliance Gov. Do the people of the USA want to buy US helicopters that cost about 3 times as much and are not not wanted by the Afghans. After all they have to continue the fight after we leave. I do not think they do. I am certain all the US boys that have died and been injured therewould say – "give them the best item available so hopefully they can finish the job we have given our lives for" – also most of them will be aware that many Russian Civil Contractors there with Russian Helicopters and planes etc. have been invaluable and many of them have died also. [13.5% contractors that have died I read are Russian] at least Russia is not supplying arms to the Taliban like the USA did. None of these things are as simple as some in the USA would like to think they are. Afghanistan is not Syria also – two entirely different situations. Australian.

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