After months of hyping the notion that the “sequestration” automatic cuts in military spending growth would be virtually the end of the world, the deadline is coming up, and defense industry officials are said to be increasingly pessimistic about a deal, and annoyed by politicians having sidelined them on the talks.
Pessimistic and annoyed but not nearly so hysterical, as analysts say the arms dealers are resigned to the idea that sequestration will briefly take hold and that they can press for a spending hike some time in 2013 to make up for it.
“I think people resigned to the fact that this needs to be addressed in January,” one unnamed source was quoted as saying. Since US military spending will still be massively larger than any other nation, and right on the cusp of being the largest in human history, the companies are pretty sure they can live with that until something bigger comes along.
The big issue is not whether trivial cuts are avoided now or simply covered up in a few months, but rather that the arms-making lobby suddenly has less than a total ability to dictate policy on spending, something which hasn’t been an issue for them for a long, long time.