Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Aside

Nepal has a serious shortage of helicopters – so why don’t we send some of ours?

According to the BBC, one of the biggest issues hampering Nepal in its efforts to recover from last week’s massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake is a shortage of helicopters. The impoverished, landlocked country doesn’t have many choppers of its own, and with many roads out of services and rural villages completely destroyed, the country has an acute need for more air power.

China is supposedly going to send help, but why isn’t the United States stepping in? We have more helicopters than the rest of the world put together.

Every branch of our military operates helicopters: the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Coast Guard, and the Air Force.

We even have the ability to transport significant numbers of rotary-wing aircraft in our fixed-wing aircraft. That’s how advanced our military logistics are.

We should put our air power to work helping Nepal in their time of need.

When the Philippines were hit by a typhoon last year, U.S. military helicopters made a huge difference, airlifting supplies into hard-to-reach areas.

Nepal may be harder for us to get equipment to than the Philippines, but that’s no excuse. India is unlikely to have a problem allowing its airspace to be used for access to Nepal, and we have forces already deployed in the Asia-Pacific region that could be put to work with disaster relief and recovery.

How about it, President Obama?