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The French Connection

Selling arms to all the wrong people.

11:00 PM, Mar 4, 2008 • By REUBEN F. JOHNSON
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Paris can be a very political place, as the saying goes, but nothing about the politics of DGA seems to square with the interests of France's industry or the desire of President Sarkozy to try and repair strained relations with the United States. Crippling the air force of Taiwan, one of America's oldest allies, and handing over advanced military technology to a government in Pakistan that is less stable by the day probably falls into the category of actions that would displease Washington.

Which is why DGA probably now deserves the "worse than Rosoboronexport" label. Both nations' state arms agencies have torpedoed export sales opportunities that they should have been able to close. However, the Russian agency has yet to do such a thorough job of damaging ties with long-standing clients and aggravating Washington to the level that DGA seems determined to reach. Sarkozy needs to step in and put an end to this deal--while there is still enough of a French military aerospace industry in existence to be saved by his actions--and prevent another diplomatic row with the United States.

Reuben F. Johnson is a contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD Online.