Thursday, September 22, 2016
The Case For U.S.. Aircraft Carriers
Loren Thompson, Forbes: Five Reasons The Navy's Aircraft Carriers Are Becoming More Vital To U.S. Security
One of the most persistent fashions in military circles is predicting the demise of the aircraft carrier. It has become an article of faith among many analysts that the world’s biggest warships can’t hide in an era of precision-guided missiles and reconnaissance satellites, and it’s just a matter of time before some upstart military power like China proves the point. The more colorful accounts of why carriers will be a waning factor in warfare describe a “line of death” in the seas near China that can’t be crossed without courting catastrophe.
No doubt about it, carriers and the other warships that accompany them in a strike group constitute a lucrative target set. Losing even one of the Navy’s ten carriers would be a national trauma. However, these concerns have been around for a long time; Donald Rumsfeld was talking about them during his first run as defense secretary in the 1970s. There hasn’t been much hard evidence during the intervening decades that carrier vulnerability is increasing. The Navy invests heavily in applying cutting-edge technology to the defense of its carrier strike groups — making them among the most densely defended assets in the world.
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WNU Editor: In a big war these carriers will be prime targets .... and some will probably be sunk with a great loss of life. But most conflicts are small, and I can understand the value of having these floating bases. Unfortunately .... they are becoming more and more expensive to build and maintain .... and I can see the day when budgetary concerns will probably over-ride national security policies and objectives.