By National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo
Over 300,000 jobs are at stake if the Pentagon suffers hundreds of billions more in budget cuts, a major defense industry trade association claimed Wednesday.
The Defense Department is already mandated to cut $400 billion from its budget, as part of an agreement that allowed President Obama to raise the debt ceiling. The same deal created a Congressional “super committee”, tasked to find another 1.5 trillion in government savings over the next decade. If the commission cannot come to agreement on where the cuts should come from by the end of November, another $600 billion will automatically be axed from the defense budget.
360,000 people employed by the aerospace and defense industry will lose their jobs if $1 trillion is ultimately slashed from the defense budget, according to a calculation by the Aerospace Industrial Association (AIA).
The Defense Department employs 3.1 million people, both military and civilian, and various sources estimate that another 3 million people are employed by the defense industry.
Members of AIA’s executive committee met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Tuesday to discuss the potential far reaching effects of the cuts.