Sunday, June 17, 2007

Boeing Boss - Don't Stop Our Gravy Train

By Cernig

Want to know who wins from the Bush administration's strategy in the war on terror? Here's the man to tell you.
US defence spending needs to be kept at record levels to cope with the threat of global terrorism and the emergence of China as a military rival, the head of Boeing's defence business has warned.

Speaking ahead of this week's Paris Air Show, Jim Albaugh forecast a slowdown in the Pentagon budget but warned that a decline would leave the country relying on old and worn out weapons after recent conflicts.

"The question is what happens when we come out of Iraq and Afghanistan and the supplementals [additional payments used to fund the wars] start to dry up," he said.

...However, the Boeing defence chief said he could afford to be "pretty objective" because his company was protected by its booming passenger jet business, unlike defence industry rivals.

Several high-profile Boeing projects face substantial cuts during the current round of budget negotiations in the Senate and Congress.

These include the $200bn Future Combat Systems programme to modernise the US army's battlefield equipment, the controversial US missile defence system and an airborne laser weapon.

"It's going to be a pretty sporty year for everybody," Mr Albaugh said, commenting on the intense lobbying campaign that will carry on until after the summer. Boeing stands to lose $400m next year if Democrats block the creation of a third missile defence site in Europe, though Mr Albaugh said budget cuts and gains tended to even out.

He said Boeing was pursuing more international sales to counter the US budget challenges, including sales drives in India and Japan.
Is it just me or does the first paragraph come across as a feeble attempt at a "we care" excuse for the real motive - which is keeping the gravy train on track and full steam ahead?

After all, the answer to the US being IN DANGER because of underfunding, according to Boeing's top arms dealer boss, is to sell weapons to other countries. Boeing sells weapons systems to 145 countries including Columbia, Israel, Saudi Arabi and Egypt. It then uses those sales of advanced US military technology to propel demands for new US systems to meet the threat of all those weapons in the hands of other nations. Making the US run an arms race against itself has made Boeing into America's largest exporter and second largest arms company. There's also the small matters of deliberate price gouging and the corporate welfare system for arms companies where the government basically transefers taxpayers' cash directly to corporate coffers via a money-laundery called foreign military aid programs.

That someone so firmly imbedded in this gravy train has the nerve to try to pass of his concerns as being about any country's security makes me sick.

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