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View Diary: Chart of the Day: Aircraft carriers. U.S. has more than everybody else combined, and then some (276 comments)

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  •  There are two kinds of ships (2+ / 0-)
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    JeffW, frostbite

    Submarines, and targets.

    Or so it says on t-shirts sold in New London, CT.

    In a full-on shooting war, carriers make terrific targets and they're not too inconspicuous the rest of the time; that's why so many resources are devoted to protecting them.

    What they are really good for is projecting force, the "Big Stick" that can be positioned as needs dictate. And as long as you're going up against opponents with no naval attack capabilities (subs, surface fleets, aircraft with shipkiller missiles, etc.), it's not a bad capability to have.

    An observation sometimes made about this is that it's insane in one regard for the U.S. to spend so much on weapons systems that would be taken out very quickly if the balloon went up. True - but there are quite a few other things to consider, including the likelihood of the balloon going up at all.

    For one, the rest of the world does not have as many carriers because some of them are our allies, and they expect us to use them for their protection. It would be nice to think we get comparable value in return.

    For another, the deterrence effect is not an inconsiderable asset.

    And the carriers don't operate in isolation; you have to consider them as one element in the entire U.S. military system. The services have gotten a lot better at working to together and acting as force multipliers.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:09:14 PM PDT

    •  The size of our military is simply idiotic (0+ / 0-)

      Even at half its size, no country in the world would ever think of attacking the USA.

      Our thinking that small countries with a military budget less than a tenth the size of ours would ever think of starting a war with the US is nutty. We probably think that way because of racism and religious hatred that blinds everyone. We have demonized every known non-WASP leader the world.

      War is costly. Peace is priceless!

      by frostbite on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:42:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Projecting Force (0+ / 0-)

      means beating up on small countries and taking their lunch money.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 05:08:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup, an old tradition - Gunboat Diplomacy (0+ / 0-)

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 05:57:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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