When there is a crisis anywhere in the world, the president’s first question often is, “Where are the aircraft carriers?” The modern supercarrier lies at the very center of American national security strategy, and, at over a thousand feet in length and approaching nearly 100,000 tons in water displacement, it is a uniquely American weapon.
The U.S. Navy currently possesses 10 of these behemoths, and while China, Russia, Brazil, India and France each claim a single carrier in their naval inventory, none comes even close to matching the capabilities of an American flattop. When an iconic supercarrier comes within sight of a foreign shore, its citizens know that the Americans have arrived.
But the Navy’s current carrier plan would squander this military advantage — not by squeezing carriers out but by overbuilding them. Right now, the Navy plans to modernize its carrier program by launching a new wave of even larger and more expensive ships, starting with the USS Gerald Ford, which cost $15 billion to build — by far the most expensive vessel in naval history. This is a mistake: Because of changes in warfare and technology, in any future military entanglement with a foe like China, current carriers and their air wings will be almost useless and the next generation may fare even worse.
Read the full article at POLITICO.
More from CNAS
CommentarySharper: Civil-Military Relations
The so-called “civil-military divide” has increasingly defined the relationship between America's civil society and its armed forces....
By Cole Stevens, Nathalie Grogan & Chris Estep
CommentaryDoD weather capabilities have lagged; Space Force can turn that around
Today, U.S. service members are at risk of losing the most up-to-date knowledge of weather conditions....
By Sarah Mineiro
CommentarySpace Force Should Embrace the Natural Inclusivity of Space Nerds
As the newest service branch finds its feet, it should embrace this ethos — a proven aid to recruitment, readiness, and mission success — as fundamental to its identity....
By Sarah Mineiro
PodcastThe Air War Against the Islamic State
Becca Wasser and Stacie Pettyjohn are interviewed about the air war against the Islamic State that was critical to the territorial defeat of the group’s territorial caliphate ...
By Becca Wasser