Competition: Foreign Policy

The U.S. military complex used to buy its wares only from U.S. companies. Not anymore. Is the influx from abroad good or bad?

Ask a military officer what Columbus, Miss., is known for, and he will tell you it produces a lot of good Air Force pilots and a good lot of fiancés. The tiny town near the Alabama border feels authentically Southern: it's host to a regional bass-fishing tournament, and Tennessee Williams once called it home. So it is curious to discover that an ambitious global-defense contractor has established a beachhead here.

On a grassy, 40-acre pasture at the end of the local airport's lone runway, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (EADS)--the world's second largest aerospace firm, with headquarters in France...

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