The US has had Canadian and Israeli-built fighters and aggressors in the inventory. The other thing to consider is that the state of European military technology is generally abysmal compared to the US. In many instances, the Europeans simply do not offer comparable technology. Because of the size of the US armed forces, our military manufacturers build huge economies of scales thus enabling investments in weapons technology that are simply not feasible elsewhere. The US has a clear and decisive comparative advantage in most high tech weaponry. It makes sense for the Europeans to buy US weaponry. I again point out the notable absence of F-16/F-15/F/A-18 aircraft from the UK and Germany's inventories. No one has been forced to buy F-16s. The JSF will actually have signficant European participation. If the US were actually eager to help Boeing indirectly, it probably would have awarded at least a portion of the $1 trillion/40-year JSF contract to Boeing instead of the winner Lockheed-Martin.
I also point out that many of those F-16s you mention are actually assembled in Europe by local workers.
I support the US government's pressure on CAL 110 percent. Here is why: CAL is the state-owned carrier of Taiwan. If Taiwan is attacked, the US will be the first (and possibly only) country to respond. In 1996, when China was conducting 'missle tests' in the Taiwan Strait, it was the United States that sent an aircraft carrier into the Strait to keep the peace. Since the US guarantees the security of Taiwan, I have no truck when the US government pressures that government to have its own carrier purchase US-made equipment. The government of Taiwan saves a tremendous amount of money and resources because of the aegis of US protection. Notice that EVA bought 330-200s and there were no trips by US Congressmen over the transaction. EVA is a privately-owned carrier. It is none of our business. I believe that the EU threatened Taiwan if they selected the 777 over 340 by CAL but I cannot verify that.
I believe the 767 tanker LEASE program is a subsidy and should be cancelled. It is a big gift to Boeing if actually implemented. However, I think the USAF
is fully justified in replacing their 40-50 year old KC
-135s with newer 767s. The US military has a problem with spares and maintenance on such old aircraft. I just think the 767 should be purchased outright instead of leased.
Don't let Airbus employment figures fool you. Airbus relies heavily on contract workers that work part-time. Sure they have fewer full-time workers. They can get rid of the contract workers as needed. Like Airbus finances, their employment figures rely heavily on smoke and mirrors.
Actually, you have the Airbus manufacturing system only partially correct. They actually build A319/321 in Hamburg. The rest are built in Tolouse and are flown up to Hamburg for the interiors. This is probably not very efficient. Don't you think?
You have the Boeing system wrong. Boeing's plants are in Renton (737/757) and Everett (767/747/777). They build, paint, and finish their aircraft at the respective plants. They do not fly them to other locations unless a customer contracts a third company to install specialized equipment like certain first-class seats and so on.
Again, you are incorrect about the Boeing and McDD merger. Not only did the US approve the merger, but so did the EU. The EU also had jurisidiction over it. Why would they help Boeing fight Airbus? I repeat that by 1995, McDD became non-factor in the civil business thus the merger had minimal effects on competition. There were no legitimate grounds for the US to block the transaction. There were even less for Europe. Heck, the elimination of McDD helped Airbus surely. Contrary to what you think, McDD commercial division would have failed had it relied on MD
-95 and a handful of MD
-11 orders. The pace of orders was too slow to cover the fixed costs of keeping the line open.
I agree that aviation is a politically sensitive industry.