The Defense Department will have a hard time committing to any real growth in spending. Undersecretary Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s head of acquisition, told industry officials that politics, the sluggish economy, and the size of the deficit might affect funding in the near future, Reuters reports.
This was the first time Carter had publicly acknowledged that political and economic realities might impact actual funding.
Carter also met separately with industry and defense officials to say he’s still hopeful cuts in overhead might preserve a projected 1 percent real growth in the overall defense budget over the next five years.
Some industry officials have been increasingly skeptical that the Pentagon can keep that promise. There are also concerns over cuts or cancellations to several big contracts.