Wednesday, December 10, 2008
"Over the next few decades the Pentagon is planning to spend more than $50 billion on its Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carriers. ... Since aircraft carriers are near helpless without a protective ring of about ten destroyers, frigates and cruisers, the military wants to invest in newer versions of these too, at a cost of an additional $50 billion. ... Why won't the next Administration get rid of this white elephant? President-elect Obama simply has too little military expertise to take on the carrier champions, even though his senior adviser on strategic affairs, former Navy secretary Richard Danzig, has in the past called for reducing carrier crew sizes. ... Swarms of small Chinese vessels and aircraft armed to the teeth with smart weapons would quickly sink a carrier. ... In a world of such weapons, aircraft carriers should paint over their identifying numbers and replace them with bull's-eyes. They have had a good 70-year run as capital ships, but their time is over. ... In terms of so-called irregular warfare, the most common form of conflict over the past 60 years, carriers have an insignificant role to play. Air Force planes, small or large missiles and artillery make more effective substitutes", my emphasis, John Arquilla (JA) at Forbes, 8 December 2008.
I agree with JA. I see no future role for aircraft carriers except as targets for enemy missiles and aircraft. I don't see how a carrier could survive a battle with a competent potential enemy like China.