To the Editor:
I was disappointed in the response of Sen. Pat Roberts to the refueling tanker contract being awarded to Northrup/EADS instead of Boeing.
Didn't Boeing have access to the specifications set by the Air Force? I'm sure it did. So why didn't Boeing present a version that exceeded the specs? I'm also sure that is what the men at Northup-Grumman did in collaboration with EADS. So it isn't Sen. Roberts' fault that Boeing lost the contract. Boeing lost the contract. It seems to me that his concern should have been put to good use a long time ago in discussions with Boeing about its design.
One other thing: Why in the name of good golly is the United States considering building a military base in Africa? When the people of this country are clamoring to bring the troops home from the mistake in Iraq, why would 535 men and women in Washington even let this misbegotten idea get any air time? I am sorely disappointed.
And finally, the misuse of National Guard troops in Iraq has created a troubling problem. Not only will enlistment in the Guard be shrinking in the future because of extended tours, but now I understand the ranks of officers delisting is a problem. We, the United States, will need very shortly to bring back the draft to fill the ranks of a permanent military. None of the candidates for president are talking about military manpower problems. Nor are the candidates talking about the financial problems faced by the families of guardsmen who have to leave jobs and income that support those families. Do you hear any answers to these problems? I don't either.
Robert E. White