Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Aid Afghanistan defense and add American jobs

President Obama has another chance to create American jobs, which I hope that he doesn't--once again--bypass. It comes down to a choice between two Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance aircraft. One is made here, the other in South America.

Retired USAF Lt. Gen. Jeff Remington lays out the case for the American plane for Fox News:
Unfortunately, the road to this has been met with several significant bumps, as the Air Force last year awarded the contract to Brazilian company Embraer for its Super Tucano, as opposed to Kansas-based Hawker Beechcraft for its AT-6, which is manufactured in America. In a recent turn of events, however, the contract for the Brazilian-made aircraft was dismissed by the Secretary of the Air Force, and the contract is back on the table, setting off a new bidding process once again between a foreign company and one that is American-owned and operated.

In order to successfully and independently fight terror, countries like Afghanistan need a superior aircraft from a trustworthy and reliable source. Currently, the US Air Force has identified at least 27 countries, in addition to Afghanistan, which require an aircraft to fulfill Light Air Support (LAS) missions as defined by the United States Air Force.

Building "partnership capacity," by manufacturing and supplying aircraft to America’s allies, is a key role outlined in America’s national security strategy. I have direct experience with how this type of partnership can develop essential relationships between the U.S. and other nations, after spending two tours on the Joint Staff in Washington and another in the Pacific, where I focused on international political and military policy.

One has to ask then, why would we want to provide an aircraft that is not even made in this country or flown by our own Airmen, particularly after the U.S. has invested so much in Afghanistan over the past decade?
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