The Free Press, Mankato, MN


Afghanistan US Russia Copter Deal-3

FILE - In this July 8, 2011 file photo released by the Australian Defense Force, members of the National Interdiction Unit (NIU) and the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) await the arrival of two Mi-17 helicopters in Kandahar, Afghanistan. To outfit Afghanistan's security forces with new helicopters, the Pentagon bypassed U.S. companies and turned instead to Moscow for dozens of Russian Mi-17 rotorcraft at a cost of more than $1 billion. Senior Pentagon officials assured skeptical members of Congress they'd made the right call, pointing repeatedly to a top-secret 2010 study they said named the Mi-17 as the superior choice. (AP Photo/Australian Defense Force, File)