By Louis Varricchio
Middlebury — Not counting the loss of lives over the decades, if you don’t think it’s time for the U.S. to quit the War in Afghanistan cold turkey—which, starting in 1979, has gone from being Brezhnev’s war, to being Andropov’s war, to being Gorbechev’s war, to being Bush’s war, to being (now) Obama’s war—then the following $1 billion-plus “drop-in-the-bucket” news story about U.S. Department of Defense recklessness should be a profound wake-up call.
To date, according to the National Priorities Project, the USA has spent $459.8 billion on this so-called Endless War. Imagine what other things this nation could accomplish with $495.8 billion (I think we-the-people could better spend (or save) this money which has gone down the drain in the name of “national defense” and the “War on Terror”).
As millions of Americans are desperately searching for good-paying work, and fast-food workers are protesting for better wages (clearly, because there’s no hope of a better job or cost-of-living raises anywhere on the horizon), and as even more U.S. manufacturing is being outsourced, we learn about this disturbing tidbit: the DOD recently spent $1 billion-plus on the purchase of Russian helicopters for use in the Endless War.
Reported by the Associated Press just last week, I learned that DOD authorities picked the Russian (state-supported) Mi-17 helicopter over the private Boeing Chinook, built in Pennsylvania. Why spend $1 billion-plus on foreign-made choppers when Boeing could have supplied this need?
Who knows how this kind of out-of-touch, inside-the-beltway thinking got started, but it’s the tip-of-the-iceberg of our government’s short-sighted, foreign-buying spree.
And the DOD is not alone in thumbing its nose at the American worker:
CGI Federal, a Canadian-owned firm (curiously, an old classmate of First Lady Michelle Obama’s is an executive at the firm) was hired, without any bidding process, to create the controversial Obama Care website. Even NASA outsources our nation’s once proud, man-in-space program to the Russian space agency, at the same time approving Russian RD-180 engines to power the Atlas V rocket fleet.