Experts: Defense Cuts Could Stifle Innovation

VP of Pratt and Whitney, AEI experts talk sequester at Brookings Institute

U.S. military sequester

A US Marine F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet / AP

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Jay DeFrank, vice president of Pratt and Whitney, urged for continued military innovation Tuesday morning at the Brookings Institution.

DeFrank, among other distinguished panelists, answered questions on the effects of sequestration on the Department of Defense.

Mackenzie Eaglen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, went on to point out that this is the first time in DoD’s history that they currently do not have a fighter aircraft in development.

"If we’re not innovating, we will have gap," DeFrank said. His remarks were meant to highlight the potential pitfalls of a military that becomes stagnant and relies on dated technology to attempt to broadcast supremacy in a world where geopolitical rivals continue to innovate.

DeFrank stated that the reason the United States is fighting rudimentary enemies like the Taliban is because the rest of the world knows that it is impossible to defeat the United States conventionally.

However, if the United States continues to shift its focus from research and development to spending most of its defense budget on personnel, the conventional threat will return, DeFrank warned.

DeFrank’s remarks were in line with the rest of the panel, all of whom agreed that sequestration’s damage would reduce the United States’ ability to project power in the long term.

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