An Era of Limits

As Congress debates next year's Pentagon budget, a dwindling defense industry struggles to cope with the coming cutbacks

When defense-industry executives gather to talk about business these days, their cocktail of choice may be Maalox. As Congress debates how to cut the Pentagon budget, one outcome is virtually certain: programs will be abandoned and assembly lines shut down. Under pressure to cut the federal deficit, Congress and the Bush Administration are determined to shear billions of dollars from military outlays. As a result, anxious defense-industry + executives from New York's Long Island to Los Angeles are frantically lobbying to keep their weapons programs alive. Tens of thousands of jobs depend on the decisions now being made on Capitol Hill.

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