Since 2008, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) contracting portfolio has faced significant resource pressures, as a result of the ongoing budget drawdown, sequestration, and its aftermath. With FY2015 contract data now available through the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), CSIS has begun to examine whether the trends observed in the first two years of the post-sequestration defense contracting environment would continue to hold. For the Army, at least, the data shows a notable slowing of the decline in contract obligations in 2015.
Frank Kendall’s comments after Lockheed Martin purchased Sikorsky that alluded to significant policy concerns with defense industry consolidation at the higher tiers of the supply chain set off alarm bells, not just at Lockheed Martin headquarters in Bethesda, but in defense industry C-suites around the country. Most notable was his reference to potential legislative changes that would add national security concerns to the matters considered during antitrust reviews.
European public opinion impacts defense investments. Public support leads to additional military dollars, but there’s typically a three-year gap between formation of positive opinions about defense investments and actual increased spending.