Tag Archives: aerospace

President Signs Defense Bill, Calm Does Not Reign

After well over a year of genuine concern, misplaced worry, fear mongering, and, of course, partisan bickering, the defense sequestration portion of the Budget Control Act of 2011 appears to be behind the U.S. Now Americans can get together and really solve the nation’s problems. Just kidding! It’s only been delayed for two months while Congress and the executive retool their talking points for the predicted debt-ceiling fight.

President Obama signed a $633 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last week, though he rued certain portions of the bill. But with no line-item veto available, the NDAA is now law. Not exactly what the kids learn on Schoolhouse Rock.

Defense CEOs Address Looming Sequestration

On 3 December 2012, the Press Club in Washington, DC, hosted four defense industry CEOs for a discussion on sequestration and national security. The speakers included Wes Bush (Northrop Grumman), David Hess (Pratt & Whitney), Dawne Hickton (RTI International Metals, Inc.), and David Langstaff (TASC). As the capitol buzzes with endless talk over the politics behind the fiscal cliff, the speakers, all of whom are associated with aerospace, gave some much-needed specifics to the years-old anxiety surrounding defense sequestration.

If the definition of defense policy is matching force structure to strategy, then according to the panel of CEOs, the Budget Control Act of 2011, which enacted sequestration, will severely inhibit this policy. No one spared a breath to defend the legislation; sequestration was variously described as “a peanut butter approach” (Hess), “a meat axe” (Bush), and “indiscriminate” (Langstaff). Though deficit reduction appeared to be a priority for the group, the quick and dirty defense cuts possibly coming in 2013 would make current U.S. national security strategy unworkable in their view.