In his recent visit to Afghanistan, President Obama signed an agreement aimed at building a more robust relationship with an independent Afghanistan, where it takes control of its own security. The transition from US managed to Afghan-led security will require proper training and support, providing the Afghan military the needed skills and equipment to stand on its own.
A crucial aspect of an Afghani self-determined defense strategy will be the control of its skies. The US Air Force is currently in the process of procuring aircraft to support the Afghan Air Force, which would add 20 state of the art aircraft to the Afghan military arsenal.
Unfortunately, the road to this has been met with several significant bumps, as the Air Force last year awarded the contract to Brazilian company Embraer for its Super Tucano, as opposed to Kansas-based Hawker Beechcraft for its AT-6, which is manufactured in America. In a recent turn of events, however, the contract for the Brazilian-made aircraft was dismissed by the Secretary of the Air Force, and the contract is back on the table, setting off a new bidding process once again between a foreign company and one that is American-owned and operated.