Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 6, 2010

Commentary: Free Trade Agreement Compromises National Defense


Jed Babbin, former deputy undersecretary of defense, offers an opinion concerning Sen. John McCain’s obstruction to a new Air Force Tanker in an article, “The Free Trade Air Force?“, appearing in the on-line edition of The American Spectator, July 6, 2010.

The Free Trade Air Force?

By on 7.6.10 @ 6:09AM

KC-135 Stratotanker.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best)

For nearly a decade the Air Force has been trying to replace its Eisenhower-era fleet of refueling tanker aircraft. It has failed twice in rather spectacular fashion. Once because a senior Boeing executive bribed an Air Force procurement chief with a job offer. And once because the Air Force broke federal contracting rules to award the contract to Boeing’s competitor (then a Northrop Grumman–European Aerospace Defense Systems consortium) for a too-large and too-slow Airbus aircraft.

And the double failures were due, in part, to the malign influence of Sen. John McCain (R?-AZ), who has been to the Air Force what malware is to your laptop.

This time, my alma mater had bloody well get it right. There is no more room for error. The refueling tanker is the most urgent and crucial weapon system acquisition in among all the other things the armed forces need. And that’s because the aged fleet of 415 KC-135s is too old, frail, and worn out to perform the mission.

(Read complete article at original site)