Bloomberg is reporting that President Barack Obama's budget cuts rely heavily on reductions in military spending, and several other news organization said the same over the weekend. Maybe you've heard already, but if not then it's worth noting that Obama this week will be talking about cutting the "exploding" U.S. deficit in half by the end of his term in 2013 (quote is his word).
According to administration officials, who previewed info to many reporters on back-ground conditions last week, the plan will rely in part on the drawdown in combat forces in Iraq and defense outsourcing.
Meanwhile, an administration decision is expected soon on the F-22 Raptor's future. To most people not involved in national security or its industrial base, these issues will not seem immediately tied. But they are, I think. I suggest that the Raptor's decision - the more immediate of the two as it will take a while to draw down in Iraq - will set the tone for what exactly this President means when he talks about reining in defense spending as we know it. Iraq - assuming nothing changes there, and that's a big if - is essentially a fait accompli laid down by his predecessor, President Bush. The Raptor, however, Obama owns, and his decision there will "show his cards" on other looming decisions of the kind, like shipbuilding, ground equipment, etc.
Obama started the formal campaign Saturday with his weekly public address. It will be followed by an economic summit today and an address to Congress tomorrow night. The climax is the unveiling of a 10-year budget outline Thursday. if you want to re-check what the president already thinks about defense spending, go here.
This could be the most important week yet since the election for the aerospace and defense industry.