Friday, April 28, 2006

US Military Muscle brought to you by the good people in Dubai

After the grief the White House got for the DPW ports deal and the media frenzy over that politically tone deaf move, how might one expect this news will be received?
President Bush is expected to announce today his approval of a deal under which a Dubai-owned company would take control of nine plants in the United States that manufacture parts for U.S. military vehicles and aircraft, say two administration officials familiar with the deal.
Yeesh. More interesting than the continued cluelessness on the part of the White House on this will be the how the media, especially the conservative crowd, will jump on this, if they actually do. But the White House appears to have tried to line up the ducks before hand, something they failed to do with the DPW deal. One of the big GOP critics of the ports deal, Peter King (R-NY), is expressing his satifaction that, this time, a proper "review" was done.

Other lawmakers are now expressing regretful concerns about Congress's own unhinged reaction to the ports deal, which they are now saying is causing doubts among other countries looking to invest in US interests. Mike Oxely explains his worry about foreign investment:
If Congress makes it too onerous to invest in this country, why would anyone in their right mind do business here?
Clearly, foreign investment in the US is of a bigger concern to Congress than US investment in the US. But this expected announcement doesn't change the fact that it was already a foreign firm, the British Doncasters, doing the manufacture. That the US government would favour foreign companies in military contracts over US firms is, to say the least, a bitter flavour of foreign investment fruit.

But the larger issue here is that, as this country continues to hemorrhage manufacturing jobs in the United States, the White House itself sees no problem with outsourcing manufacturing work for its own military needs. Is it really the case that US companies cannot do this? Or that a Dubai company can do it better? If this is true, what does that say about our ability to maintain a posture on "national security"? I doubt that is the case that US firms can't do this kind of work and I expect that there are any number of American companies that would be happy to get on the military contract gravy boat.

The deal can most likely be viewed as one that is probably meant to assuage Abu Dhabi over the loss of the ports contract. In the climate that the Bush administration has sought to create over the last five years, wherein Homeland Security assumed primacy uber alles, at least as far as it was politically useful for it to do so, I still wonder why they might think such a deal shouldn't give Americans pause. Oh, that's right. Because they don't think. And, once again, this move demonstrates the Bush administration's fealty to Middle East oil interests and the hallowed halls of "foreign investment."


Post a Comment

<< Home