Panelists: Sequestration’s Impact Won’t Hit for a While

Several senior policy analysts and a US aerospace defense industry executive emphasized the long-term negative consequences of budget sequestration on the US military during a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. They agreed that short-term effects have been, for the most part, relatively painless, although the defense industry is likely to feel the full impact of the budget cuts in coming years. “The danger of sequestration isn’t in year one,” said Jay DeFrank, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president of communications and government relations. He said “the meat cleaver approach” to defense cuts would most likely have its biggest impact later on, negatively affecting areas such as operations and maintenance. LMI President and CEO Nelson Ford, a former Army undersecretary, echoed DeFrank’s statements. “The short-term effects of sequestration are not very serious,” he said, but “over the long term, sharp cuts can have a real impact.” For instance, he argued that such a haphazard approach to budget cuts could negatively impact the military’s readiness in the face of new threats. (Brookings webpage of July 2 event)