No Recession for Arms Sales

The CEO of a weapons manufacturer has plenty of chances to rub elbows with deputy secretaries of defense, officials from Homeland Security, retired military personnel, and the best and brightest of the defense establishment almost any week of the year.

One such opportunity occurred at the ComDef 2008 conference, which wrapped up at the National Press Club in Washington on September 3. Sponsored by weapons giants like Boeing, Raytheon, and BAE Systems, the day-long conference was organized around the theme of “Defense Priorities in an Age of Persistent Conflict.” It featured presentations from a Navy undersecretary, a deputy director at the Pentagon, several weapons manufacturers, and defense representatives from France, the Netherlands, Canada, and elsewhere. With this high-powered lineup, the conference probably delivered on the promise of its catch line: “Where the international defense cooperation community gets down to business.”

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