Foreign Affairs?

Boeing tanker proponents Sen. Sam Brownback, Sen. Pat Roberts, and Rep. Todd Tiahrt—all Kansas Republicans—wrote in a March 16 letter to Defense Secretary Bob Gates, “Several European officials seem to suggest that failure to change the military requirements to meet the capabilities of the EADS aircraft is protectionism.” They continued: “Foreign competitors are allowed to bid for US defense contracts and have seen great success in recent years. In fact, we are concerned the Department of Defense has gone too far in supporting foreign competitors.” They were urging Gates to reject “lobbying by foreign governments and EADS” to extend the KC-X deadline. An extension offer made news two days later. (See above, The Tanker Game) Of course, EADS tanker proponents are ecstatic. As Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) told the Pensacola News Journal, “This puts Mobile [Ala., where EADS would build its KC-X] back in the game.”