Boeing Doesn't Deserve Military Monopoly

Lawmakers are angry, but making aircraft giant compete is a good thing
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2008 9:45 AM CDT
In this artist's depiction provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., a KC-45A refuels a B-2 stealth bomber. The Air Force on Friday, Feb. 29, 2008, awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. and a European partner a $35...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – There’s fury on Capitol Hill (and the campaign trail) over a $40 billion Air Force contract going to a European team, Mark Thompson notes in Time, but it’s entirely appropriate for the military to get the best technology it can. Indeed, anger over the snub to Boeing shows lawmakers at their worst, worrying about hometown pork instead of defense needs.

It may be a “downside to globalization,” Thompson writes, but US forces need the best. While it was John McCain who opened the door to this deal by denying an earlier Boeing pact, the Democratic candidates are labeling the victory for Airbus as outsourcing. Congressional meddling with the contract—possibly worth $100 billion—risks making Boeing "fat and lazy at the Pentagon trough."