Paris Air Show Gets Cold Pentagon Shoulder

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The Paris Air Show, coming up June 15-22, is apparently feeling the freeze from the Pentagon's recent aversion to France. The U.S. Defense Department announced Thursday it will cut back sharply on participation in this year's show. No high-ranking officials will attend, no U.S. aircraft will join the daily flyovers, and static displays will be reduced by half. "This is senior [Defense Department] officials' way of expressing their displeasure with French government policy on Iraq," Joel Johnson, of the Aerospace Industries Association, told Reuters. Other industry analysts agreed that the policy reflects administration pique with the French, but a Pentagon spokesman cited "international circumstances" and the demand for resources to be deployed elsewhere. Others have cited the slow economy for cost-cutting by exhibitors. General Dynamics and Textron will skip the show altogether this year, for economic reasons, The Baltimore Sun reported. The show is held every other year at Le Bourget, France, and attracts more than 1,800 exhibitors and 300,000 visitors from around the world.