[Sorry about the long gap between posts: I was tied up by a trip to New Mexico and other work.]
The attitude in the headline is essentially that expressed by Rep. Bud Cramer (D-AL) during a visit to Boeing’s launch vehicle manufacturing facility in Decatur, which will become the United Launch Alliance’s key facility once the ULA merger is finalized. A key excerpt from a Decatur Daily article about the visit:
“We’ve got other countries around the world who are not as careful as we are about competition,” said Cramer, including Russia and China. “We’ve got to have an active launch business, and there’s not enough on the commercial side to support” two separate manufacturers.
He said national security demands that we have a robust satellite system, which means we need to protect our launch industry.
“I want the rest of the country aware of how important the launch industry is to national security,” Cramer said.
The article adds that the FTC’s initial approval of the ULA is in the middle of a 30-day public comment period, after which the agency will issue its final ruling; no comments had been filed as of late last week, although such comments typically come at the end of the period. “We’re almost there,” Cramer said, “but we’d better be careful.” Careful, one must ask, of what?