Barack Obama is not only removing senior officials from the U.S. military, but he’s also donating weapons to security forces in Muslim countries. Unclassified excerpts of a study obtained by the Associated Press show that security forces in Afghanistan were given new helicopters courtesy of the Pentagon. The Obama Administration purchased 63 Russian Mi-17 rotorcrafts at a cost of more than $1 billion.
The Mi-17s were acquired through a contract awarded without competition to Rosoboronexport, a notoriously corrupt arms export agency in Moscow. In addition to the absurdity of giving weapons to other countries, the Mi-17s weren’t even the most cost effective choice for a helicopter.
A Boeing helicopter known as the Chinook was found to be “the most cost-effective single platform type fleet for the Afghan Air Force over a twenty year period,” according to the study. However, a document from an internal Defense Contract Audit Agency “shows that the department could not conduct a comprehensive cost comparison because Rosoboronexport wouldn’t allow U.S. auditors to look at its books.”
Meanwhile, costs are being cut within the U.S. military as hundreds of senior officials have been released and all U.S. commissaries are likely being closed starting in 2015. Commissaries are grocery stores that offer discounted food and essentials to military members and their families, and currently receive a total of $1.4 billion in government funding so military families can save an average of 30 percent on their groceries.
But as Congress seeks to cut costs by any means necessary, they are also removing jobs for military spouses by removing the commissaries. These spouses currently comprise up to 30 percent of the workforce at these grocery stores.