Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Will democratic administration be good for defense electronics funding?

Posted by John McHale

Walking the show floor at MILCOM 08 in San Diego the last three days I sensed a good deal of optimism among exhibitors and attendees about defense electronics funding under a Barack Obama administration.

The consensus is that while a democratic administration will likely cut back on boots and bullets, they will also be prone to spend more on technology for C4ISR, or command, control, communications, computers, surveillance, and reconnaissance, applications to remain vigilant without putting troops in harm's way.

Unmanned systems, already a decisive force on the battlefield, should proliferate even more under this scenario, which is good news for our community.

One of the members of our Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum advisory board also pointed out to me that the Bush/Cheney administration killed more programs than the Clinton administration.

He said that a democratic administration is more likely to scale back production rather than kill an entire program. Killing programs also means eliminating jobs on a large scale, something a democratic administration might be loathe doing in this economic climate.

The optimism is good news, but it's still a guessing game as to where Obama will make his cuts in defense and he will make them.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the Obama administration will be good overall for the defense industry in two ways. One is morally and the other is economically.
    Morally speaking if he keeps to his campaign promises and draws down troop levels in Iraq, fewer soldiers have to get harmed or killed and to me that’s a good thing.
    Economically I look to history and the period after Viet Nam that led to increased defense expenditures paying to replace the equipment that was broken, or destroyed during that conflict. Also once the lessons were learned from Viet Nam the defense planners overcame the perceived battlefield lessons which led to an increase in technology development in the form of smart bombs, better performing platforms, etc.