Defense industry fears leaner years ahead

10/15/2008 | Boston Globe (tiered subscription model), The

With federal bailouts for the financial sector now approaching the $1 trillion mark, analysts say it will be "nearly impossible" for military spending to continue its eight-year growth record. "Both candidates will use the Pentagon as a bill payer for domestic priorities," predicts Mackenzie Eaglen, a national security expert at the Heritage Foundation. Expensive, complex programs such as the F-22 stealth fighter and Future Combat Systems are seen as most likely to feel the pain of budget cuts. "This is not a simple problem," warns Fred Downey, vice president of national security for the Aerospace Industries Association. "We can't afford to stop any of these programs."

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