via CNN Money
FORTUNE — Congress has reconvened, which means lobbyists for the powerful defense industry will go into overdrive to stave off what some in the industry believe could be the greatest single threat to the military-industrial complex since the end of the cold war: The bipartisan budget-cutting “super committee.” Given the acrimony in Washington between Republicans and Democrats, the stage is set for automatic cuts that could see the defense budget fall precipitously, potentially crushing the profits of some of the nation’s largest military contractors.
The industry is bracing for the worst, and it’s responding by shifting its focus to foreign markets and high-tech automated weapon systems. Such moves will serve as a stopgap measure for now, but the budget shortfall could result in even deeper cuts in the near future. Any such cuts will most likely fall disproportionately on the military contractors, potentially compromising the nation’s military readiness.