Durbin: US buying weapons from same Russian manufacturer that is enabling massacre in Syria

"This Rosaborenexport is doing business not only in Syria but with the United States government," said Durbin, naming the state-sponsored corporation in Russia. "We are, in fact, doing business with the very same company and country that is subsidizing the massacre in Syria."

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Durbin noted that as a remnant of the nine-year Soviet War in Afghanistan that began in 1979, Russian helicopters including the M-17 and M-18 remain the birds of choice for the Afghan national army in its fight against the Taliban. 

Durbin, who was joined on the floor by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), said Congress ought to "make this point to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta" and that the Department of Defense ought instead to be purchasing the needed helicopters and weapons from American companies. 

"Can I be so bold as to suggest it be made in the United States of America, since we're paying for it?" he asked. "Why aren't we doing that? Why aren't we creating jobs here in America and training these Afghans on helicopters that come from our country that are as good or better than anything the Soviets ever put in the air?"