Over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Roggio and Michael Goldfarb do an excellent job covering the same tanker issue I covered in these parts a few weeks back, and they reach the same conclusions, includng the most important one that in a totally sensible one, the contract would be split between Boeing and Northrop/EADS. Here’s the kicker, though: As both Roggio and Goldfarb agree (and, for that matter, as is pretty generally accepted), the Northrop plane is a “more capable aircraft.” If the Air Force does not award at least part of the contract to Northrop, it will represent another example of politics taking precedence over performance. As I argued before, and as the Standard guys agree, and as all good conservative/free market types ought to agree, the best idea is almost always to promote competition — and if the contract is split up for now, it will ensure that BOTH companies have incentive to do a good job, because this is just the first of a series of air-refueling tanker contracts that will be awarded.
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