What Obama will say about defense in State of the Union

Tuesday - 1/25/2011, 3:15pm EST

In tonight's State Of The Union Address, listen for President Obama to cite progress in Iraq and a reaffirmation that the U.S. is on the right path in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the president is also expected to say troop drawdowns will go forward cautiously. The ongoing violence and political dysfunction in both countries has left a lot of uncertainty about what will happen when American troops pull out.

Politico says it will be interesting to see whether President Obama mentions any role for the defense industry in a speech that will include a lot about reinvigorating the economy, spurring competition and putting people back to work.

They say original research done by Benjamin Friedman of the Cato Institute shows the Defense budget may be safe from the Tea Party right. Of the Republicans' 47 senators and 242 representatives surveyed by CATO - only 5 percent expressed support for cutting defense spending.

In a possible sign of bipartisanship, the chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee - Representatives Buck McKeon and Adam Smith -- will sit together for the speech tonight.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.