Facing the hard facts about the ‘world class’ US Navy, by Roger Thompson

Great ships don’t save bad captains. From Roger Thompson at responsiblestatecraft.org:

This goes far beyond the future utility of aircraft carriers. The culture and leadership are diminishing the force’s maritime dominance, too.

The state of modern defense journalism in America is a sad one indeed. For example, I give you a recent article by Kris Osborn, the defense editor for The National Interest. His recent plea for more aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy reminded me of the late Tom Clancy’s jingoistic boasts about the American military.

Osborn writes:

Nothing in the world can project power like a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, which brings the ability to launch massive offensive strikes from waters offshore, holding targets and enemies at risk. This proven reality explains why the mere forward presence of a carrier can have a “calming” type of deterrent effect. At times, the Navy and Pentagon’s leaders have called for eleven carriers, and have most recently asked for twelve.

This is nonsense. As I pointed out in my 2007 book, Lessons Not Learned: The U.S. Navy’s Status Quo Culture, in war games and mock attacks from 1966 to 2006 — a forty year span — submarines and surface warships from the Soviet Union and Russia, China, Chile, Holland, Australia, and Canada theoretically destroyed the carriers Saratoga, Independence, John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Forrestal, Constellation, Carl Vinson, Theodore Roosevelt, Kitty Hawk and Abraham Lincoln.

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