I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of trade done with Canada and Mexico would be crude oil imports from those two countries. Since we don't import crude oil from China, the vast majority of China's imports are "non-commodity" imports.
I've noticed from some of your posts that you follow defense issues, so I was wondering if you've looked into this any further.
I looked up the specs on the Antonov and it seems to be similar to the C-5, then I found a couple of articles about the USAF C-5's being upgraded.
Do you think this is about not having enough C-17's, or might these leases be necessary due to some of our C-5's being temporarily out of service due to the upgrade process? I didn't find anything on-line about how many C-5's are out of service at any one time so I'm not even going to try to guess whether or not it has anything to do with this.
It is hard to say without specifics of where these planes are landing etc, but the C-5 (at least certain models) was having a lot of operational availability problems before upgrades were commenced, so I think it would be a fair assessment to assume that we would not be able to rely on the C-5, regardless of the current upgrade program.
When I served in Vietnam, I was amazed that EVERYTHING the military used to build bases was from material imported from the US. Everything for sale in the PX, everything we ate, the guns, the uniforms, the toilets, the plywood, the furnature; absolutely everything was either flown or shipped in from the US.
I am delighted to hear we are finally buying some stuff on the local market. The real question here is "how much would the taxpayer pay for all that stuff we got from Russia, versus if all of it were bought in and shipped from the US?
You are not comparing apples and apples when you say,
"In fiscal year 2007–2008, the U.S. taxpayers paid more than $840 million total to the Russians. This equals what the Department of Defense would pay for four additional C-17 aircraft..."
How much would we have paid for the stuff we bought from Russia? Not all of it was transportation cost. And what is the cost for a C-17 to make a flight halfway around the world to Afghanistan? I'll bet the cost of fuel and manpower, and maintenance dwarf the capital purchase price for a C-17.
I am positive if you counted all the costs of buying that stuff from the US and transporting it to Afghanistan, it would be double the cost of what we paid to Russia. Finally somebody is thinking with their wallet.
Why doesn't the U.S. military purchase retired commercial jets, retrofit and refurbish them, and use them as transport aircraft? There are thousands of retired commercial jets sitting around in the Arizona desert or being sold for scrap.
There I go again, making too much sense. Sorry about that!
because there is a reason they are in scrap heap in the desert being sold for scrap...you can't just fly a plane forever even with good maintnaince..before its going to break down and not be able to fly with any safety. Plus the cost to retro a old plane could be higher then a new one...as you end up replacing just about evrything to make sure they handle the new load. Military plane may have much greater need then what you can retro most planes for...shorter runways, far more wieight, far more distance it can go with said weight.
its like 2 people going to drag race a car a half mile...and one guy is given a 300 junk yard car with a 120 hp 4 banger, and the other just buys a new Mustang GT ...odds of you getting that junk car to be able to win that race, and be safe, and for less cash ...slim.