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“Modest reforms to pay and compensation will improve readiness and modernization. It will help keep our all-volunteer force sustainable and strong. Keeping faith also means investing sufficient resources so that we can uphold our sacred obligations to defend the nation and to send our sons and daughters to war with only the best training, leadership and equipment. We can’t shrink from our obligations to one another. The stakes are too high.”

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

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Imaginary Industry

Some of Congress’ debt reduction champions are starting to lose faith as its costs start to hit closer to home.  “I have never supported policies that advance government expenditure for the express purpose of job creation,” HASC Chairman Buck McKeon howled in a letter to the New York Times’ editor – except “the defense industry is unique.”  Indeed it is.  As the Chairman very helpfully pointed out in a recent hearing, he thinks it is uniquely important to employment in his home state of California.

BFAD’s Gordon Adams explained how McKeon actually is seeing things.

Without Chairman McKeon knowing it, the Department of Defense now relies on the commercial economy to a growing extent.  And it is a commercial technology base that plays the central role, not the leviathans of the old defense industrial base. America's technology base, and the global technology base, are producing directly for DoD and are making the parts, software, wiring, communications, optics, and the rest that the leviathans assemble.  And this base is highly diversified, making and selling to the commercial economy world-wide.  In reality, this technology base is our future.

So no need to lose faith in the debt reduction effort.  Buck McKeon just hates that he can’t have his cake and eat it too, but that’s not exactly a matter of national security.