This time it’s different

I recently wrote an op-ed on AOL Defense, a Web site that I will contribute to.

The piece is titled “Defense Companies Must Do More Than Lobby Against Cuts.” Severe military spending cuts are coming, no matter who comes out on top politically in 2012. It’s been very hard for the defense industry to talk about this, but it’s almost certain to be far more painful than anyone is predicting. A year ago the prospect of really deep cuts were disregarded or shrugged off. No longer. Because there is opportunity in such major disruptions, policymakers, investors, executives, lawmakers, the armed services and taxpayers all must think in new ways about how to fulfill their obligations to the country, and each other.

Here’s the opening of the op-ed:

“For more than a year, defense companies have taken measured steps to prepare for defense spending budget cuts. Many pruned corporate spending, sending fewer executives to foreign air shows. Some, like Lockheed Martin Corp., even offered sweeping buyouts. Others even sold off headache-causing businesses, as Northrop Grumman Corp. did by spinning off its shipyards. More acquisitions can be expected along the lines of United Technology Corp.’s offer for Goodrich Corp.
These are significant moves for an industry that’s had a strong financial run during the past decade but seems convinced it can hold its own as defense spending declines in the coming years.
It’s not going to be enough.”

Read the rest of the piece at AOL Defense.