Now Available: Defense Lobbying 101

Posted April 23, 2007 at 4:12pm

It’s easy to see how a procedure that requires knowledge not only of the intricacies in both military hardware and lobbying industries, but also of the finesse to sell a concept through the hoops of Congress, could seem overwhelming.

Still, in his book “Lobbying for Defense,” Matt Kambrod explains how to do just that. [IMGCAP(1)]

Thanks to a background that involves an extensive military career, tours in the Pentagon, a position as deputy for aviation to the assistant secretary of the Army for research, development and acquisition, and current lobbying consulting positions both domestically and internationally, Kambrod has used his book to address a topic that might cause individuals with expertise in only one of these areas to simply throw up their hands when tackling the complex process of monetary debacles surrounding Defense spending.

Currently a resident of the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Kambrod uses his latest work to provide a “bird’s-eye” view for lobbying for defense aid, making a stated attempt to address two main facets of his audience, which Kambrod refers to as Congress and “the industry.”

When it comes to debunking lobbying confusion on the Hill, Kambrod said, “it is important for Members to understand that some appropriations outside the president’s budget are essential.” Further, when it comes to navigating the oft-confusing lingo of military spending, “it is important for Members of Congress to participate in the defense ‘plus-up process,’ as this is the only way, as the book discusses, that the military departments may get some very needed programs.”

Kambrod delivers a separate message to those on the other end of the spectrum: the companies involved in the construction and sale of various defense products. “The book is directed at [the] industry in a quite different context. I wanted to present industry with a methodology which could be followed month by month during the budget or fiscal year which provides specific actions which can be taken,” Kambrod said.

Kambrod is confident in the effectiveness of the “step by step” process laid out in “Lobbying for Defense” and “would argue that you could follow my instructions, prepare correspondence of which I have prepared samples, and, with a supportive delegation and talent inside your organization, do a very credible job of lobbying.”

John Zugschwert, a retired Army colonel whose contact with Kambrod includes time spent together in Vietnam and at the Pentagon, believes Kambrod’s comprehensive background on a multitude of defense lobbying facets is an asset throughout the book.

Zugschwert said Kambrod “is a guy that knows a program from where the item was used in the field all the way through the acquisition strategy … through the Congress back down into the industry that has to perform and get that program going … he can address any aspect of it … he can talk this thing from one end to the other.”

Kambrod felt sharing his extensive knowledge with others throughout the pages of “Lobbying for Defense” was a good way to summarize the vast knowledge he has been able to gather throughout his career.

“I’m not going to do this for the rest of my life, this lobbying business, and quite honestly, I just want people to feel comfortable with it,” he said.

Regarding Kambrod’s decision to divulge his specified knowledge on the defense lobbing industry, Zugschwert said: “Matt felt that he had something that he could contribute … to make the process within our government work. He’s sharing a knowledge.”