Report: U.S. Proceeding With Massive Purchase of Russian Helicopters That The Afghans Cannot Fully Maintain Or Operate

300px-afghan_mi-17_helicoptersAs Afghanistan quickly unravels and the Taliban resume control over large areas of the country, the Obama Administration appears to be rushing to spend as much money as possible before we are kicked out.  The latest example is the Pentagon moving forward with a $772 million purchase of aircraft that the Afghan army “cannot operate or maintain,” according to a Special Inspector report.  It is understandable of course. We cannot wait any longer with the rise of anti-American sentiments.  We need to get this equipment in place before the Taliban and their allies take over.

The latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction discussed the aircraft and noted that it has long been recognized that “the Afghans lack the capacity — in both personnel numbers and expertise — to operate and maintain” existing and planned fleets. This includes 30 Mi-17 helicopters from Russian firm Rosoboronexport. We previously discussed how we are not even buying American aircraft. This will also make it easier for a future anti-American government to maintain the fleet with Russia as opposed to having to seek American spare parts.

To make things even more bizarre, the Administration has admitted that it is giving money to Taliban-linked businesses despite objections from U.S. personnel in the country. ohn Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), said “I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract.” He added that we are giving these companies money “despite detailed supporting information demonstrating that these individuals and entities are providing material support to the insurgency in Afghanistan.”

Just to recap: We have a corrupt puppet regime with a president who calls us demons and the enemy while publicly insisting on receiving bags of cash from the CIA. We have billions that simply have disappeared into the pockets of Afghan warlords and corrupt officials. We are building facilities and then tearing them down unused. We are giving huge contracts to Russia to supply aircraft that cannot be used while funding companies tied directly to Taliban insurgents. As we just to spend billions before being kicked out of the country, our leaders continue to cut back basic educational, environmental, and scientific programs at home.

That should cover it. The saddest thing is not the utter incompetence of our government. It is that fact that the public no longer believes that it can do a thing about any of this. We have become mere unwilling passengers on a Ship of Fools.

26 thoughts on “Report: U.S. Proceeding With Massive Purchase of Russian Helicopters That The Afghans Cannot Fully Maintain Or Operate

  1. Obviously, and this hardly needs argument, this purchase is a quid-pro-quo for Russian assistance in transportation into Afghanistan. In those terms it is a bargain. We couldn’t have carried out the campaign without Russian cooperation.

    Also, we know that the Taliban will shortly be running Afghanistan again so we do not want to hand them top-line US equipment.

    Of all the crappy deals in the War on Terror, this one should get a gold star by comparison.

  2. You might be interested in my book…MidEast ChessBoard…by woodyvoinche

    and articles i have written along the same lines…that gives other examples
    of this …hidden agenda for … no win war…..Dr. Jekyl-Mr. Hyde foreign policy…for funding the Taliban…is this a neocon plan for perpetual war…it was Eisenhower that warned of the dangers of an overpowering military industrial complex…

    woody voinche


    One of the most important issues today is the war in Afghanistan-Pakistan and the fact that US
    Military Aid to Pakistan is being used to fund the Pakistani ISI which is in turn funding Taliban
    and Al Quada fighters. While this has been reported sporadically in the media for whatever
    reason political pundits on the left and right have effectively ignored this issue.

    Joe Klein in an article for Time, August 9, 2010, p. 19, has written an article that every American
    citizen should go to their library and read, he writes,

    “The commanders are unanimous in their belief that the ISI is running the show….And so,
    despite professions of alliance with the US by Pakistan’s then dictator Pervez Musharraf, a
    decision was made to keep the Taliban alive. A spigot of untargeted military aid from the George
    W. Bush Administration helped fund the effort. A commander of the vicious Haqqani Taliban
    network tells Waldman that their funding comes from ‘the Americans–from them to the
    Pakistani military, and then to us.’ Waldman reports that the commander receives from the
    Pakistanis ‘a reward for killing foreign soldiers, usually $4000 to $5000 for each soldier killed'”.

    American tax dollars if not directly, then indirectly are being used to fund the Taliban and put
    a bounty on American boys and girls head… Makes one wonder why the establishment right
    or left is not reporting on this? If the right is covering for
    the mistakes of the Bush administration…why is the establishment left not reporting on this???
    …this is the most important issue of the day…we will never win a war where if not directly then
    indirectly the US is funding the opposition!!!!

    woody voinche

  3. No Win War???

    The New American for November 9, 2009, has an interesting articleonGeneral Barry McCaffrey’s statement that the US “faces 10 more years of war in Afghanistan” and that the US should “focus upon a long and expensive nation-building process for Afghanistan’s tribal culture.” There seems to be a mindset in the establishment for the US to maintain a long term presence in the MidEast.

    For a long time, the US has operated in the region through hidden agendas. In his book, The New World Order, Mr. Pat Robertson, states that George Bush 1 suggested that the fate of Kuwait was not the main issue, “launching the New World Order was the main thing.” Mr. Robertson further writes, “By words and by silence, the United States flashed Saddam Hussein a green light” … to move into Kuwait and suggests this was used as a pretext for the 1st Gulf War…the implication is that Saddam was entraped with Green Light Diplomacy but there was a much larger agenda(hidden) for moving against Hussein………..

    For the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the evidence suggests that the US and its allies are not doing all that can be done to win this war and there is some agenda for prolonging this conflict.

    The Advocate quotes Hillary Clinton(Dec. 7, 2009, p. 5A), stating it is “hard to believe” that no one in Islamabad knows where the al-Qaida leaders are hiding and couldn’t get them “if they really wanted to.”

    In the aftermath of 9.11, the bombing of the wrong escape route out of Afghanistan into Pakistan and the nighttime airlift by the US of the Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives that were allowed to escape(The New Yorker, Jan 28, 2002, p. 36); Gary Berntsen, the head of the CIAs team at Tora Bora said they tracked bin Laden and (he) “…could have been caught.”(Newsweek, Aug 15, 2005, p. 5); There is evidence that the Pakistani ISI is funding the Taliban and knows where they live but dont arrest them.(Time, Nov. 29, 2004, p. 44)

    There is a strategy by the Pakistani government “…which pays tribes and insurgent networks to attack each other with a goal of preventing any one group from getting too strong”.(US News, Oct 13/Oct 20, 2008, p. 24)(a strategy used by the Brits) Pakistani Ambassador, Haqqani presents evidence in his book that the Pakistani military and ISI make “…the pretense of arresting militants in order to get funds from Washinton. But it never shut down the networks.”(Newsweek, May 11/May 18, 2009, p. 29)

    The CIA never takes a junior partner role with any of these groups and we have to assume wants this to continue. The New York Times(Oct. 27, 2009) reports that Karzai’s brother is on the CIAs payroll and is a suspected player in the opium trade which finances the Taliban.

    All of this only contributes to a more chaotic situation which feeds a hidden agenda for a “no win war” and prolonged conflict at the expense of American boys and girls lives!!

    woody voinche

  4. Dan,
    that is an interesting theory, but it still does not answer why we are buying anything for the Afghans at this point. We could also sell them helicopters without advanced technology. This is a further bribe to the Afghan government that is corrupt and in bed with the Taliban.

  5. I have mixed feelings about this. I can see the economic downside for our own aircraft industry. On the other hand, the Russian machines are probably cheaper. We will not be giving away advanced technology, because it will only be a matter of time before the current government is overthrown and the Taliban takes over again. We should have told them to buy their own military gear with some of the money they were stealing from us.

    We needed to pull the plug on Afghanistan military operations several years ago. If Bush the Lesser had pursued Osama bin Laden with the same determination as Obama, the mastermind of 9-11 would have been dead a long time ago; but then there would have been no real reason to stay in the country “where empires go to die.”

  6. It is a trick to get Russia back into the empire graveyard. We are using our choppers to medevac ourselves out of that hell hole. Soon the Taliban will want Russian mechanics.

  7. Woody,
    It sounds as if McCaffrey has been writing his playbook from the notes of Oliver Cromwell and the Duke of Cumberland. Two years ago, I wrote a story on the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden Moor. I was able to draw a parallel with Cumberland’s attempt to destroy a tribal culture and what we are doing in Afghanistan and the middle east in general. The aftermath of Culloden resounds in bitter resentment even to this day, 260 years later. During the both the American Revolution and Civil War, a goodly number of generals discovered it was possible to win the battle but lose the war.

    Here is a link to the Battle of Culloden story:

  8. It isn’t a concern to those involved that Afghans can’t maintain or operate their Russian whirlybirds.

    It is all about the potential for profit.

  9. I read stuff like this and I flash on Col. Kurtz, crazy as a s*it-house rat, sitting in a poorly lit room listening to the voices in his head, the crazy, crazy voices in his head. What could one say to that level of insular madness? That’s how stories like this one make me feel, like I’m watching Col. Kurtz and have nothing to say because I just can’t get crazy enough to relate.

    And follow the money.

  10. “Gen. Wes Clark reveals Neocon PNAC plan to reorder the
    governments of 7 countries in the mideast…”

    I have no idea if this was ever a serious plan but John Bolton has made similar public remarks.

    The idea seemed to be that if we could just scrape of the to 5,000 to 10,000 of the elite we could then mold the society to be what ever we wanted. democracies, allies, puppets.

    I think one of his signature phrases was ‘take a number’ in reference to the 7 or so target countries.

    It is one thing to die for your country. It is quite another to die for another mans dream of empire.

  11. Thank you, Barack, for doing so much better in Afghanistan than your predecessors. Now try hard to not leave any atom bombs laying around on the way out, okay?

  12. So now we’re playing both sides of the war game..To make things even more bizarre, the Administration has admitted that it is giving money to Taliban-linked businesses despite objections from U.S. personnel in the country. ohn Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), said “I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract.” He added that we are giving these companies money “despite detailed supporting information demonstrating that these individuals and entities are providing material support to the insurgency in Afghanistan.”

    Come on tell me it ain’t so…..

  13. Thirty three years ago this dog in a prior life as a human was sitting in the Hilton Hotel Bar in Tahir Square observing and listening to British M-6 and Bell Helicopter employees (CIA) discuss the tactics of recruiting muslim brothers from Saudi Arabia and Egypt to send off to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. That al Zawari guy was a doctor living in Luxor and they were set on recruiting him. Which they did. He later was involved in the killing of Sadat and got only three years prison time. Now he is in Pakistan directing the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Brit guy is back in the bar in Tahir Square retired but still drinking. The Bell Helicopter guys are in Naples, FL. One of them comes over our way to our marina on the east coast of FL. He does not recognize me.

  14. As retired Army Colonel (and now university professor) Andrew Bacevich writes in Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War:

    “By the end of 2006, the purpose of Operation Iraqi Freedom was no longer Iraqi freedom. American warriors were now fighting not to advance the cause of liberty but to create conditions that might enable them to leave Iraq without acknowledging explicit defeat.”

    Ditto for Afghanistan. This time around, however, several important countries — like Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan — have a lot to say about whether to allow the United States military to get out of its self-inflicted debacle without suffering a British-style slaughter in the Khyber Pass or admitting to yet another humiliating defeat at the hands of barely armed, impoverished nobodies raising poppies and herding goats in the Hindu Kush. Each and every one of these important countries will demand their very own pound of flesh from Uncle Stupid — and they will get it. Uncle Stupid just hopes like hell that the fleeced and duped American taxpaying voters won’t notice and object to the extortion payments or the current plans to do it all again in some other backward, not-yet-completely-devastated country real soon.

    This farce reminds me of that scene from the movie remake of The Count of Monte Christo where Edmond Dantes and his sidekick Jacopo look on through an open casino doorway as the dissolute aristocrat Fernand de Mondego (i.e., Uncle Stupid) squanders his family inheritance at the roulette wheel. Observes Jacopo: “He’s losing. And they’re not even cheating him.”

    The United States did this to itself, and its principle rivals in the area have profited without even having to cheat. But they can begin cheating at any time and then things could get really ugly real fast. Better for Uncle Stupid to swallow hard, pay up, wait for sundown, and run like hell for the nearest border, as with the midnight run of our military out of Iraq at the end of 2011.

    I once served in the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam 1970-72), so I know how these things keep happening because Americans do not remember military defeats that they ought never forget. For my part, I do not want to see another humiliating retreat swept under the rug as if it never happened. I want to loudly celebrate the defeat and immortalize it in verse so as to help my fellow citizens easily keep the hard-earned lesson ever in mind. This sort of bloody stupidity has to stop before it can start again. Hence:

    Another Catastrophic Success

    With their tails tucked proudly ‘tween their legs
    Advancing towards the exit march the dregs
    Of empire, whose retreat this question begs:
    No promised omelet, just the broken eggs?

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2011

  15. Perhaps a little off-topic, but my Taiwanese wife tells me that the late-night talk-show programs here think that the loudly-advertised U.S. embassy closings in Yemen (and wherever else) simply smack of a transparent attempt by the NSA and Obama administration to distract attention from the huge global black eye they gave themselves spying on the world’s population while savagely persecuting the little nobody whistle-blower, Edward Snowden, who has more credibility right now than the lying U.S. government..

    I told her that in the United States, we used to call this the “wag the dog” scenario.

  16. […] saw how [American politicians and military personnel] prefer to deliver bags of money to Karzai, buy Russian aircraft that Afghans can’t fly or maintain, or build huge buildings to be then torn down unused. Of course, no one is ever fired for […]

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