The Washington Times has an interesting article by Ed Feulner that describes the present state of the United States Navy aircraft carrier force and what we have to look forward to in the future.
"The rest of the ship is a marvel, too. It's like a floating city, one able to generate a virtually unlimited amount of power from its nuclear engines. It creates enough electricity to light 100,000 homes. It can purify 400,000 gallons of water daily. It carries enough food to feed its crew for three months at sea. In short, a carrier is a critical tool in our military arsenal, an irreplaceable asset that allows our military to project power anywhere, any time."
"During the 1980s, the Navy estimated it would require 15 carriers to keep the high seas secure. Today, though, our carrier force is dwindling. Last year Congress decided the U.S. could maintain only 11 carriers. Now, in another attempt to save money, the Navy says it can probably get by with just 10 carriers for awhile before it finally adds a new ship in 2015. Overall, today's Navy boasts only 280 deployable vessels."
"It's not as if other countries are standing still. China is building submarines at a frantic pace. By 2025, it could have five times as many subs in the Pacific as the U.S. There's no reason for China to become our enemy — but there's also no excuse for Congress to allow our Navy to be so outgunned, just in case the Chinese become aggressive."
"The Constitution gives lawmakers the power of the purse, so it's their responsibility to provide for the common defense. That means maintaining a powerful Navy. Lawmakers should insist the Navy keep 12 carriers in service."