NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For defense contractors, war has been hell.Not traditional wars like the ones raging in the Middle East, which have spurred increased demand for high-tech weaponry and re-supplied arsenals. But rather the endless budget battle in Washington, which has made rubble of consolidation plans, paralyzed markets and left both executives and bankers eager for signs of an eventual armistice. Sequestration, for all of its hype, has so far been a mixed event for defense companies. On the surface, it appears politics has done little damage to the quarterly earnings of Pentagon titans and has only modestly affected the results of midtier players and government services companies. The long duration of typical federal contracts to some extent has shielded earnings, though the gridlock has delayed new awards and at times has slowed implementation of existing contracts.