Get politics out of the military bidding process - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

WLOX Editorial:

Get politics out of the military bidding process

One has to question now whether the best bid wins a military contract or is it the most political muscle. Northrop Grumman announced this week it would not resubmit a bid for a multi billion dollar Air Force contract. This leaves Boeing as the only bidder for the job to build more than a hundred aerial-refueling tankers.

If Northrop Grumman had won the bid, the planes would have been built at a plant in Mobile. Northrop Grumman joined forces with a European partner EADS and won the tanker contract in 2008. Boeing protested and the contract soon became a political football with Boeing supporters arguing the contract should not go to a foreign airplane builder. The contract was canceled and the Pentagon was forced to start over

Now, Northrop Grumman says it will not resubmit a bid because the new guidelines favor the type of plane that Boeing plans to build. Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker agrees, saying the process is nothing more than "a charade." Alabama Senator Richard Shelby says, "once again politics trumps the needs of our military."

While we are not experts in building planes, we do believe the rules of the competition should not favor one company over another. The real loser, is the American taxpayer, because with two companies bidding, prices are better and the product is better.

It's time we let our leaders know, get politics out of the military bidding process.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com, or post your comments below.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV General Manager

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