Who in government feels authorized to allow brokers to discuss sales with sanctioned companies?
A lot is hanging on the sale of six Russian-made helicopters for Afghanistan, including whether the U.S. will continue to blacklist Russia's state-owned arms export firm.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Army put out a draft request for proposals to buy six Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan's military through the U.S. foreign military sales process. Considering that the Army earlier this year handed out a $325 million, no-bid contract to ARINC, a Carlyle Group-owned company, to buy almost two dozen Mi-17s, it would seem like this company has a giant-sized foot lodged in the door. In fact, I've been told that Army had initially tapped ARINC to provide those extra six helicopters for Afghanistan, bringing the total contract in the half billion dollar range. Like with the sale to Iraq, the question with the Afghanistan sale is how to get around sanctions against Rosoboronexport, the Russian agency in charge of foreign military sales.
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