Jim Armitage: Defence big guns will want to target Hagel

 

Global Outlook The defence group BAE is among the biggest British spenders on Washington lobbying, splurging $3.5m in 2012. Over the past five years, it's spent some $24m, according to OpenSecrets. That's twice as much as even Barclays did during the aftermath of the banking crisis. Rolls-Royce, another big supplier to the US military, spent $7.3m over that period.

One presumes the arrival of a new defence secretary in the form of Senator Chuck Hagel will mean a whole load more shoulders for BAE and Rolls to tap in Washington. Particularly as Mr Hagel looks likely to reduce US military intervention, and, inevitably, spending on equipment.

The Vietnam veteran attracted little funding from the weapons-making industry during his two terms in office, despite his glittering war record marking him out for a potential big job in defence department circles. No doubt the lobbyists in Washington are already scrambling to make up for lost time.

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