The impending budget sequester will have terrible consequences for the defense industrial base, but even if it is somehow averted or its full effect blunted, there will be a “hangover” that will adversely affect the nation, said Aerospace Industries Association President Marion Blakey on Dec. 5. Speaking to reporters assembled for AIA’s annual year-end review and forecast in Washington, D.C., Blakey said her organization’s “highly credible” research points to “the loss of 2.14 million jobs, GDP reduced by $215 billion, a 1.5-percent uptick in the unemployment rate, and the risk of turning the US economy back into a recession” in one year of sequester. It’s “difficult to fathom” that the “arsenal of democracy has been relegated to the status of a bargaining chip,” said Blakey. She urged Congress to cut a deal as quickly as possible. It’s clear that “a new reality has emerged” that won’t allow the United States time to prepare for war by amping up production of defense goods when a threat is emerging, she said. “The traditional cycles of mobilization and demobilization no longer apply,” she noted. Blakey said “today, our adversaries strike without warning—and on battlefields we hardly recognize—in cyberspace and against civilian targets using unimaginable tactics.” The United States needs to sustain defense spending—and especially research and development—to ensure that it’s ready for any contingency, she said.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”