“Even when sequester was on the table along with the fiscal cliff, it seemed pretty clear that to get to a spending-side agreement you will have to go deeper in defense,” said Gordon Adams, a defense analyst at the Stimson Center.

“Now the trade-offs are all on the spending side,” he said. “If the Democrats are going to give anything in the Medicare, Social Security arena, they are almost assuredly going to ask for something in the defense arena.”…

“I will fight anybody from any party that wants to destroy the Defense Department,” Graham told reporters Thursday. “If you think defense is not the No. 1 role of the federal government, you’ve lost you’re way in terms of constitutional priorities.”…

“What the defense industry learned from its lobbying campaign is that when there’s no urgent threat, the political system views it as just another interest group,” said Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute who consults with several defense contractors.