There is no doubt sequestration would “immediately” lead to a severe disruption of the defense supply chain and significantly higher costs—a double-edged sword that may inevitably dog essentially all Defense Department acquisition programs, said Steve Cortese, senior vice president of Washington operations for ATK. “Even if sequestration is a one-time event, it will be very hard to recover from the more expensive” program costs, said Cortese on June 27 during a Senate Aerospace Caucus staff discussion on Capitol Hill. This era of uncertainty is forcing some persons to turn away from the defense business altogether, leading industry experts to fear a more significant brain drain in the not-so-distant future, he said. “It makes it almost impossible for us to help DOD and NASA to plan for [sequestration],” said Cortese.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.