In the piece, August noted:
On the website of the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. (EADS), the company’s formal response to a possible merger with BAE Systems (BA/) is offered in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and German. It’s a reminder of how complex running a pan-European enterprise truly is, particularly one charged with being a counterweight to the U.S.’s competitive edge in aerospace and defense.
A potential EADS-BAE deal is another sign of the crossroads moment for the global defense industry, and it lays bare two realities. The first is that for all the U.S. desire to use globalization to increase competition among the Department of Defense’s contractors, Europe’s efforts to land high-profile Pentagon contracts have flamed out.
He concluded by saying:
Ultimately, this deal is about more than winning any one coveted military contract, or even EADS’s Airbus defeating its perennial aerospace rival, Boeing. This is about something bigger. It’s about creating a unified European arsenal to counter the competitive edge that U.S. aerospace and defense has enjoyed since the end of the Cold War. Combining EADS and BAE will be about much more than all of its employees learning to speak the same language.
If these two defense giants merge, their success will, in large measure, be decided in Washington, D.C.
You can read the full oped here