Just something to help you sleep peacefully at night, from a post titled, “These Rumors of a Nine-Carrier Navy? Over the Long Term, They Could Be Off by Nine:
News reports indicate the U.S. Navy could eliminate one of its 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers starting in 2015. And according to one prominent naval writer, that single cut should be the beginning of a slow process of completely axing the giant ships from the American fleet.
“The nation must plan a graceful transition that stops building carriers, plans a path for those already built to see them through their service life and creates new means of operational effectiveness in the future,” Capt. Henry Hendrix, an historian and strategist, wrote in a 2013 study for the Center for a New American Security think tank.
The main reason is simple: money. Unless budgets increase, carriers somehow get cheaper or the Pentagon makes deep cuts elsewhere, the Navy cannot afford to maintain today’s 10-flattop force—to say nothing of the 11 carriers it’s required by law to have over the long term.
Hence the recent news that the Navy might propose an early retirement for the 22-year-old flattop USS George Washington—subject to the president’s approval and Congress’ appropriation, of course. And whether or not the sailing branch decommissions George Washington, it’s already planning on keeping just two carriers deployed at a time, down from three or four.
[From Small Dead Animals.]