about a military budget that will be
$100 billion higher than it is today.”
Singer said the discussion about
sequestration in the political environment has wrongly given way to
extreme scenarios of either
“sequestration: big, massive, meat
axe cut” or “no cut.” Politicians, he
said, go for “cheer lines” that in the
long term undermine people’s
understanding and trust. By claiming a base will close or that a segment of jobs in a certain district
will be cut before defense companies know what is going to happen
ultimately have a harmful effect on
the economy, he said, because of
the uncertain climate it breeds.
“We are already feeling some of
the effects of these potential job losses without sequestration happening,
Nonetheless, a trace of optimism surfaced at a recent
U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
(SPAWAR) roundtable in San Diego. At the quarterly
SPAWAR-Industry Executive Network (SIEN) on Aug.
23, a panel of industry, government and academic professionals explored the importance of sustaining partnerships among the three sectors in order “to bridge innovation gaps,” while forecasting what military operations
may be like under sequestration.
“I’m a bit of a contrarian because I see opportunity on
the horizon,” Rear Adm. James H. Rodman Jr., SPAWAR
chief engineer, said during a SIEN panel discussion. “If
we synergize the intellectual capital available in our com-
munity, we can find creative and fiscally responsible ways
to meet emerging needs. Our partnerships will enable us
to address some of these impending budgetary issues.”
Singer said the issues being debated in sequestration
aren’t going away in the next few weeks, months or
even years, and the public will see a changing long-
term financial situation in this country.
“You can have sequestration hit in a way that everybody worries about, where you whack the good and
the bad by the same amount, or, you can engage in key
areas of strategic reform,” he said. ■
Service members and civilians gather to watch the Lewis and Clark-class dry
cargo ship USNS Cesar Chavez be christened and launched at General
Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co.’s shipyard in San Diego May 5.
There are disparate opinions on the potential impact of sequestration on workers, jobs and small businesses in the defense industry.
ness climate that manufacturers face today, we will see our
jobs crisis continue and economic growth grind to a halt.”
Likewise, a study released in mid-July by Stephen S.
Fuller, the Dwight Schar faculty chair and director in
the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason
University, Fairfax, Va., assesses the economic impact
based on all the cutbacks under the BCA for defense
and non-defense agencies.
Commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association, the GMU report, “The Economic Impact of the
Budget Control Act of 2011 on DoD and Non-DoD
Agencies,” forecasts that 1.09 million jobs with a total
labor income of $46.5 billion would be lost because of
2012-2013 Defense Department cuts.
The Washington-based Cato Institute contradicts
some of these “catastrophic” projections, and explains its
reasoning in a video the organization released in early
August entitled “The Truth About Sequestration.” The
group argues in the video that even with a sequester in
2013, the outcome in 10 years is marginal, noting that
instead of spending $5.7 trillion on defense over the next
decade, the government will spend about $5.2 trillion.
Furthermore, Christopher A. Preble, vice president
for defense and foreign policy studies at Cato, said in the
video that the cuts under sequestration occur mainly in
2013, and after 2013 the budget begins to climb again, a
fact outlined as well in the GMU report.
“All we’re doing is shaving the rate of growth of government if you have a sequester,” Daniel J. Mitchell, senior
fellow at Cato, says in the video. “And you are still talking