US Still Insisting Brazil is The Best Bet for Our Military

US Still Insisting Brazil is The Best Bet for Our Military

So remember a while ago when I told you that the Obama Administration was basically making life easier for people who don’t really like America by handing them awesomesauce defense contracts while people in America go without jobs because this administration has the economic foresight of a Mack Truck in a snowstorm?

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Let’s just say they’re still at it.

Just in case you don’t want to click the link, here’s a refresher. We doled a contract for Light Air Support to Brazilian-based manufacturer Embraer, who happens to be virtually controlled by Brazil’s government, which holds a so-called “Golden Share” in the company. Brazil, while not typically thought of as an enemy, has consistently opposed our foreign policy aims since Titanic broke box office records.

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We chose that over an American company. That would’ve created American jobs.

We actually gave someone critical of our foreign policy the power to control our aircraft. Over an American company, Beechcraft that, by all rights, was completely capable of building the same — or better — aircraft. In the United States. Where we need jobs. In fact, had the DOD opted to go with the American manufacturer, Kansas would have received 1400 new open positions — something desperately needed in Middle America, especially now that the Obama Administration is dragging their feet on the Keystone Pipeline.

Obviously, this makes a ton of sense, right? Especially given that, just this week, it became clear to everyone except Barack Obama that the world’s love affair with treating the United States as that older brother that they love to hate with that great Wall Street job and the Porche Cayenne, but who always picks up the bill for dinner, is completely over in favor of Judo expert and bear wrestler Vladimir Putin.

So you’re probably asking, why in the world would we hand out such a precious commodity, a defense contract, to a foreign manufacturer essentially backed by its government’s puppet strings? Even moreso when you consider said government’s track record of offering slim and none support towards our defense or foreign policy aims.

The devil’s in the details.

That LAS contract issue isn’t the only matter of business being handled with Brazil, you see. Boeing, a domestic-based company, has long sought to sell Brazil some of its F-18s. They’ve been long locked in a bidding duel with France’s Dassault Rafale and Sweden’s Saab AB’s Gripen NG.

It’s a contract for 36 F-18 aircraft, “worth about $4 billion, with probable follow-up orders that would greatly increase the value of the contract over time,” per a recent Reuters report.

On the other hand, the LAS deal with just handed to Embraer (code name: Brazil’s government) is for an initial $300 million, with the possibility of expanding to roughly $1 billion, a far cry shorter than Boeing’s bid war.

So, is it possible our government traded a defense contract for an agreement to purchase those planes?

Not that far-fetched when you take into account the facts.

Those on the Brazil side have long winked and nodded at the suggestion that America buying some Embraer Super Tucano aircraft would go a long ways towards convincing the government to do business with Boeing.

Way back when, circa a 2010 Aerospace Daily and Defense report, a certain Embraer CEO by the name of Frederico Curado “suggested a U.S. purchase of Super Tucanos could benefit Boeing’s efforts” at selling the Brazilians on the F-18.

December of 2010 saw an article from The News Tribune highlight leaked documents from Wikileaks showing “the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia urged high-ranking U.S. officials to become more involved and to press the case for the F/A-18.”

Now fast forward two and a half years and what do we have here? Brazil’s got that LAS contract it sought for Embraer, and last week an aforementioned Reuters report sported a headline saying it all: “Exclusive: Brazil closer to Boeing on jets deal after Biden visit

“The United States, for its part, chose Embraer in February to provide the Air Force with 20 light attack planes – a deal many Brazilians saw as a necessary condition to buy the F-18,” reads that article. It further highlights Vice-President Biden’s surprisingly gaffe-free visit as yet another reason why “there are mounting reasons to believe” Boeing will get its $4 billion prize.

To boot, it also notes Brazil’s history of doing anything but supporting our foreign policy aims, saying that its “angered some legislators in recent years through its interactions with Iran, Venezuela and other countries that antagonize Washington.”

But hey, why not boost a nation like that’s defense industry while we’re at it? Let’s even consider the idea of trading one of our own defense contract’s, stifling 1,400 long-term domestic jobs, for the sake of an even bigger prize!

Good grief.

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