Cornyn Slams Latest Pentagon Contract with Russian Firm Arming Assad Regime
by John Cornyn on June 19, 2013 at 3:32 PM
There are reports that the Pentagon has signed a new $572 million contract with Rosoboronexport:
I sponsored an amendment to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars in America to enter into contracts or agreements with Rosoboronexport. My amendment had strong bipartisan support, and it passed unanimously.
So how did the Obama Administration get around my amendment? Well, they argued that the Rosoboronexport contact was in our national-security interests.
In other words: they want us to believe that we are promoting U.S. security by doing business with a Russian arms dealer that is helping an anti-American, terror-sponsoring dictatorship commit mass atrocities.
Last year, the Pentagon agreed to audit the contract with Rosoboronexport and make good-faith efforts to find other procurement sources for the Afghan military. Now they are refusing to complete that audit, on the grounds that Rosoboronexport simply has refused to cooperate.
Meanwhile, my office has learned that Army officials within the Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aviation office -- whose primary focus is the Mi-17 program -- are the subjects of an ongoing criminal investigation. This obviously raises troubling questions about whether the terms of the new Mi-17 procurement contract resulted from criminal misconduct.
I want to take this opportunity to say, once again, that American taxpayers should not be indirectly subsidizing the murder of Syrian civilians, especially when there are perfectly good alternatives to dealing with Rosoboronexport.