If this isn’t absurd, I don’t know what is.
The Atlantic today ran a post detailing how arms deals with Russia to supply Afghans with helicopters (that they can’t even use) not only tie the Russian defense industry to continued influence over the Afghan government, but also inadvertently support a former KGB agent’s efforts to arm Syria’s Bashar al Assad.
In fact, this arms dealer is trying to supply Syria with S300 surface to air missiles, the same ones that Israel warned could take down one of their airliners.
Let that sink in for a second.
The Atlantic’s Sonni Efron points out that the head of the defense company in question, Rosoboron export, is “Sergey Chemezov, Putin’s KGB buddy from their days together in East Germany.”
That company is in line to get about a billion dollars in taxpayer dollars to help arm and then later supply the Afghan Air Force. Presumably, Afghanistan will pay the continuing service contracts, but considering the continued financial support the US has pledged to Afghanistan, it’s safe to say Washington will be in bed with Rosoboroexport for a while.
Unless they cancel the contract.
This type of absurdity happened more recently when the U.S. OK’d Qatar and Saudi Arabia in 2011 to arm Libyan rebels. Shortly after, in 2012, Mark Mazetti of the New York Times wrote about how Washington freaked out upon realizing those weapons were getting in the hands of radical jihadis.
Ironically, Mazetti felt the need to note in the second graph of that post that “there was no evidence” that those same weapons were used in the assault on Benghazi.
In other words, no one has any idea if they were or not.
If there’s ever a reason to cancel a dubious contract with a dubious KGB-run arms company, it’s that Washington can’t be sure of the consequences.