Firms, policymakers struggle as West's defence binge ends.
(Reuters) - Whether or not America's politicians can find a way to sidestep the brutal automatic military cuts of sequestration, the era of rising Western spending on weapons and wars is over.
That reality increasingly is challenging major arms manufacturers, spurring them to look for new markets, cost cuts and mergers. It is also confronting policymakers with difficult political and strategic choices as new rivals, particularly China, spend more on their armed forces.
U.S. military spending still dwarfs that of other countries - the equivalent of the next 13 nations' spending by some estimates - but the global military balance is clearly shifting. With European states already cutting, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies this year reported that Asian military spending outstripped Europe's for the first time in several centuries.
U.S. lawmakers may well avoid or delay automatic across-the-board budget cuts that would hit the military hard and are set to begin on January 2 if there is no deal on deficit reduction. But few see the United States avoiding military budget cuts in the next few years given that the government's debt burden has now surged above $16 trillion (9.95 trillion pounds) and continues to rise.
1. "The companies will put up a fight (against cuts)"
... said former U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, now chairman of the Centre for a New American Security think tank. "But as long as the civilian and military leadership stick together, I don't think the companies will win."
This whole topic disgusts me. Our Congress is a bunch of ignoramuses who don't even know what our defense posture is.