Tuesday, May 25, 2010

False decline of the US Navy

Dated a little (from 2007), but worth keeping in mind as the Tea Party members shriek about Obama killing the military.

The United States Navy currently operates eleven aircraft carriers. The oldest and least capable is faster, one third larger, and carries three times the aircraft of Admiral Kuznetsov, the largest carrier in the Russian Navy. Unlike China’s only aircraft carrier, the former Russian Varyag, American carriers have engines and are capable of self-propulsion. The only carrier in Indian service is fifty years old and a quarter the size of its American counterparts. No navy besides the United States' has more than one aircraft carrier capable of flying modern fixed wing aircraft. The United States enjoys similar dominance in surface combat vessels and submarines, operating twenty-two cruisers, fifty destroyers, fifty-five nuclear attack submarines, and ten amphibious assault ships (vessels roughly equivalent to most foreign aircraft carriers). In every category the U.S. Navy combines presumptive numerical superiority with a significant ship-to-ship advantage over any foreign navy.

The real question one should ask is: Does this help or hurt military readiness? Usually, however, we're faced with a cherry-picker who insists that Obama is letting the terrorists in the front door because he killed off this or that weapons program (which usually the military didn't want and was foisted on them by a Congressman looking to have it be put together in his home district. Military spending is billions of dollars of earmarks all given the green light by conservatives because it all goes toward "the military").

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