With EADS CASA suppliers, assembly plants and service facilities carefully chosen among key congressional constituencies, the Eurosocialists and the Kremlin are building a powerful political base to lobby Washington.
"The company has been busy building domestic political support for a program that would ultimately involve billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. In 2005, EADS bought a facility in Mobile, Ala., close to a port that can handle oversize cargo. The company has pledged to convert the plant into an Airbus assembly line if the Air Force buys the A330 tanker," Air Force magazine reports
"The company also has been recruiting talent with the technical know-how (and political connections) to get deals done in Washington. In 2004, EADS hired retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles H. Coolidge Jr.
, who had just retired as vice commander of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to oversee the tanker program and other Air Force efforts.
"Other retired military officers have come on board. Last year, the company elected Les Brownlee
, former Senate Armed Services Committee staff director, and acting Secretary of the Army for 18 months, to the EADS North America board of directors.