Frank Kendall is in an awkward position. He is the guy at the Pentagon with the checkbook, the under secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. That gives him a lot of power with the defense industry, as he represents its No. 1 customer — the U.S. taxpayer.
At the same time, he has less money to spend than he used to, and even less than he expected to have. "We're sitting here under the threat of this crazy sequestration thing, which is frankly crippling to the department," he said.
It's made even worse because Congress has yet to come up with a full-year budget, meaning the Defense Department will have to operate under last year's budget, forcing Kendall to cut $20 billion in spending he'd been planning on.