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Defense Sequestration Is 'Irrational': Pratt & Whitney CEO

Monday, 3 Dec 2012 | 4:17 PM ET

The across-the-board defense cuts that are part of the looming "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases would unnecessarily jeopardize national security, David Hess, president of United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney, told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Monday.

"Fundamentally, the major issue we have with sequestration is that it's not tied to any defense strategy," Hess said. "It's a peanut butter approach to defense spending reductions, so everything, whether it's tied to a strategic need or not, gets cut the same way across the board."

Defense Industry Sounds Alarm on Fiscal Cliff
David Hess, Pratt & Whitney, discusses whether the fiscal cliff poses a threat to U.S. national defense.

These cuts also come on top of the $485 billion in Defense Department spending already on the chopping block, Hess said. Adding in the automatic sequestration is "an irrational approach to fiscal restraint," he warned.

National security could also be jeopardized, Hess said. He noted that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said sequestration could be "catastrophic" to the country's security.

(Read More: Most Expensive Military Programs.)

Layoffs across the industry would be another consequence. Hess said the Congressional Budget Office estimates going off the fiscal cliff would lead to the loss of 2.1 million jobs, with half coming in the defense industry.

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