“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Russians Making Move on European Industrial Defense Giant, EADS

This is hard to believe but, Russia's state-owned bank Vneshtorgbank increased its shareholding in EADS from 5 per cent to between 6 and 7 per cent as the Kremlin seeks to gain more influence over the Franco-German aerospace and defense giant. President Vladmir Putin has said he would like to gain a shareholding of about 10 per cent in EADS. (I'll bet he would) Russia is pushing for board representation but has been rebuffed by the two co-chairmen of EADS as well as France's President, Jacques Chirac, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Huh? The premier European defense contractor is allowing the Russians to buy in and now some are waking up because the Russians want some measure of control? Are the Europeans nuts? First, consider what EADS is. It is a vast enterprise. This is a description of the military air side of EADS, taken from their web site:

EADS Military Air Systems

EADS Military Air Systems combines all EADS capabilities in the areas of high-performance combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), manned mission and training aircraft and the ground support equipment for these systems. The focal point of EADS Military Air Systems activities is the Eurofighter (EADS holds a 46 % share in Eurofighter GmbH). Known as Typhoon for export, this high-performance multi-role combat aircraft is designed primarily for air superiority missions with extended air-to-ground mission capability. Series production of 620 aircraft – for Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – is in full swing with an additional 18 already on order from Austria. EADS Military Air Systems holds design responsibility for the centre fuselage section, the flight control system and the right wing. In addition, the company is in charge of the final assembly of 180 German and 87 Spanish Eurofighters. EADS Military Air Systems is also developing major new programmes within the field of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles. Based on its expertise in complex system integration, the Business Unit is playing an active role in various airborne military mission systems as well as in the joint European Technology Acquisition Programme (ETAP). In addition, this Business Unit offers integrated training systems, with Mako HEAT (High Energy Advanced Trainer) at the forefront of its training activities. EADS Military Air Systems is a partner to various NATO air forces in technical and logistic support or modernisation of the most diverse types of aircraft, including the F-18 Hornet, Tornado, F-4 Phantom, Mirage F-1, C-130 Hercules, Transall C-160, P-3 Orion or E-3A AWACS. Components for Airbus are manufactured by this Business Unit, too.

Comment: Where is the conservative Bush Administration on this? If the Europeans are hell bent on puting their faith and future and security in Putin's Russia for fuel, defense, or any other loopy idea, that is their business. You would think Europe would have learned its lesson with the experience of not considering security implications to unlimited Islamic emigration. Future generations of Europeans will have to deal with that stupidity. Forget the argument that it is a free market. Defense contractors of this size and scope are enterprises that are integral to national survival and cannot be compared to a Wal-Mart. If the Russians are interested in a passive investment in companies of this sort, they should be limited to a mutual type fund where they have no access to the workings of the company. Of course that is not their interest. They figure, if the West is so foolish, let's go for it. This is not a sensible risk to be taken lightly.

The US cannot stop this. The Europeans should, but if they do not, the Pentagon and the Bush Administration should say no to any procurement or any cooperation with any defense contractor that is owned in part or whole by any Russian, ( which means government, which means Putin) company.

Read more here at The Independent


  1. They make the payments, they get the title. If you do not want to sell, do not take the money.

    Simple stuff.

    If what is manufactured cannot be sold to the owners of the company, well there is a problem. Takes "greenmail" to a whole other level.

  2. Selling the Rope...
    Huffing and Puffing

    So the lesson Rumsfeld takes from the USS Cole, and all that's happened since, is this: We're dependent on "the inter national community," and we need to cooperate with others.

    The difference between the Bush administration and its Democratic critics now amounts to six-party talks or two-party talks with North Korea--as if talking would stop Kim Jong Il. It turns on direct or indirect negotiations with Ahmadinejad--as if he were willing to negotiate away his nuclear program. With the exception of Bush's commendable steadfastness in Iraq--combined, how ever, with debilitating stubbornness on troop levels and strategy--and his support for Israel, Bush's foreign policy is now Clintonian in its combination of weakness and wishful thinking. The result in the 1990s was fecklessness and failure in Rwanda and Afghanistan and North Korea and the Middle East. The price will be even greater today.

    Bush has two more years. Whatever happens in November's elections, the country cannot afford his all-U.N.-all-the-time defensive crouch. It is not too late to increase the size of the military; to work with Japan, rather than kowtowing to China, on North Korea; to institute an interdiction regime around that country; to act with a coalition of the willing to bomb airfields and aircraft assisting genocide in Sudan; to help the democrats in and near Russia; to insist on real sanctions and pressure on Iran, backed by the threat of force; and generally to stop huffing and puffing about what is unacceptable and intolerable--only to then accept the unacceptable and tolerate the intolerable.
    But it is getting late.

    --William Kristol

  3. On October 11, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke--and it became clear just how bad things are. Interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle's Debra Saunders, Rice praised the U.N. Security Council for "a good year":

    In the month of July it got a resolution on Iran and a resolution on the North Korean missile test. It's about to get a resolution on the North Korean nuclear test. It ended a war in Lebanon, not without a lot of American involvement in actually putting together the cease-fire. But the international community has put together a resolution on Darfur to get troops into Darfur. So we're doing better in the Security Council.

    So we are. But we're not doing better in the real world.

    Each of these resolutions (except possibly Lebanon) has been ineffectual. None has stopped bad behavior or punished the guilty.

  4. Mr Bush is all about the "new world order" he is totally wrapped up in the UN. It's a Skull & Bones thing, or something, but it is definately the reality.

    GWBush or JFKerry, two sides of the same coin.

    Vote for Republican Values
    Vote Foley on Nov 7

  5. The political, diplomatic, and military cost of the continuing debacle in Iraq is hard to exaggerate. When you try and calculate the cost to correct the damage, it is hard to know where to start.

  6. There's gonna be a Resolution
    oh yeah you know
    we're all gonna save the world

    You talk about your Constitiution but as any fool can tell, it's Resolution that matters.
    Ask any photographer, they know

  7. The Telegraph is throwing its support to the outspoken general:

    "it must now be clear to all sides that the best-case scenario posited by supporters of the war – a pluralist, democratic Iraq, radiating liberty throughout the region – will not be achieved. The question therefore becomes a narrow one: are British soldiers helping to contain a civil war that would be happening anyway, or is their presence in fact exacerbating the insurgency? A bit of both, is the honest answer; but, with each day that passes, the truth tilts toward the latter."

    That pretty much expresses my sentiments.

  8. Huffing and puffing is all we can do, we tried to blow down the "straw" house, but douldn't get er done. The wood and brick buildings, well the little piggies are safe inside.

    We need to find better lungs or forget about it...

  9. This Admin has been Criminally Neglegent in it's penny-pinching ways on defense spending in the midst of a war, with more rough times to come.
    More money for Viagra and the NEA, but save every dime on our future security:
    Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

    This B-52 is one of 94 still in USAF’s inventory. The Air Force wants to trim its B-52 fleet to 56, making it more economical. Congress has resisted such moves in the past. (Photo by Clive Bennett)

    C-17: The End of the Line?

    Congress, Boeing, and airlift advocates mounted a late summer effort to stop the planned shutdown of the C-17 production line, but it appears that the effort came too late to bring about an extension of Globemaster III production.

    Boeing announced on Aug. 18 that it was sending out word to suppliers to stop work on C-17 parts and subassemblies and was planning to close the Long Beach, Calif., production line in 2009, after all outstanding orders are filled.

    56 Frigging Bombers, and we can't afford to keep C-17 production in business!
    You'd think the damn country was bankrupt.
    ...It is, of Vision and Spirit.

    But at BC, King George is still the Cat's Meow.

  10. Wretchard should start handing out knee pads to some of the new groupie crew.

  11. Putin Gets Away with Murder
    It's time to confront the Russian leader.
    by Anders Åslund
    ...good luck.

  12. ...On Vladimir Putin's 54th birthday

  13. Most analysts draw parallels to Yeltsin and argue that Russia's actions are meant only to frighten. I doubt that.
    Putin is a warrior. He won his presidency on a very dubious war, the second war in Chechnya--the region whose agony Anna Politkovskaya covered at the cost of her life.
    Putin won his reelection and authoritarian rule with his war against the oligarchs, especially his confiscation of the Yukos oil company.
    It is a logical next step to illegally prolong that rule by starting a war against Georgia.

  14. It is a logical next step to illegally prolong that rule by starting a war against Georgia.

    Well Pooty-poot better wrap the Georgia War up before the Spring of 2008, that's when his second and last term in office ends. But at any rate, we shouldn't get involved. It would break my heart to see Yankees in Georgia!

  15. Beats the side of a Skyscraper.
    (and now you know where the term came from)

  16. "Well Pooty-poot better wrap the Georgia War up before the Spring of 2008, that's when his second and last term in office ends."
    Surely you didn't miss the point?

  17. Surely you didn't miss the point?

    Your point is that Putin is preparing to suspend (or amend) the constitution to allow a third, fourth or fifth term. I don't believe he will, but time will tell.

  18. allen said...
    H/T to Michelle Malkin

    Stark Words About the Navy From a Former Navy Secretary

    "We're building only five ships a year; we're on the way to a 150-ship Navy"

    “The ultimate threat, he says, is China, which "is now building their 600-ship Navy…”

    "Costs for ships are way beyond what they should be, even allowing for inflation. It's being managed by a bureaucracy, not by accountable people. When I was in office my last budget was $11 billion and we built 28 ships; last year's budget was about $11 billion and they built five ships. That's not inflation, that's unilateral disarmament."

    12:25:29 AM


    (clerk) "Golly I'm sorry mamebut we ran out of those about 40 years ago, how 'about some aged hippie on a stick?"

  20. I agree with what Reductor had to say:

    The Russians aren't the godless commies of yester day. They are the West’s Eastern Christian brothers. I think Europe, the US, Russia, share many common interests, more so than with Pakistan, Turkey, Saudia, Egypt, and the other nominal Jihadi allies.

    US domestic and foreign policy shouldn't be hostage to US oil companies.

    Plus, Russian girls are hot hot hot.

  21. I love this blog. A long BC follower.With spirit I find on this Blog we will never lose.We will regain our equilibrium.