When Dubai buys American, or supplies American, can controversy be far behind?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 03:42 PM

Tomorrow's Asia Times reports that congressional trouble is probably brewing once again over the effect of a Dubai company's corporate purchase of a British company.  This time the controversy will be over Dubai's access to US military technology and weapons systems as a result of the purchase.

The purchase was by the Dubai company Dubai International Capital, which shelled out a mere $1.2 billion for the Brisitsh company Doncasters Group Ltd. Doncasters is a private British aerospace manufacturer, with contract work on such sensitive weapons programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The JSF is intended to be the next generation of stealth fighter aircraft, likely to be used by the U.S., but also by the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Turkey and Norway.

The Bush administration is conducting a security review of the corporate takeover, and will soon be presentingthe findings to Congress, where Democrats John Barrow and Ike Skelton of the House Armed Services Committee,have already raised questions about national security.

Yet another round in the 21st century war between the natural consequences of business globalization and the one factor that still makes the U.S. balk at the globalization: national security.

If we were going to offshore 5,000 jobs to Dubai, that would be fine, just as long as we didn't send any technical knowledge with them.

Update [2006-4-29 7:50:40 by Lee Russ]:This deal was formally approved by President Bush on Friday, April 28, and several members of congress (but not all) who opposed the Dubai ports deal have made soothing sounds about this one.