The Free Press, Mankato, MN


Afghanistan US Russia Copter Deal-9

This handout photo provided by the US Army, taken Oct. 26, 2013, shows a 10th Combat Aviation Brigade CH-47 Chinook helicopter, operated by members of the Texas and Oklahoma National Guard, flying a personnel and equipment movement mission over Kabul, 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/Capt. Peter Smedberg, USCArmy)