As usual, Donald Trump just barges in and disregards the the advice of his Joint Chiefs of staff, and the generals in his Cabinet, regarding any build-up of the Military. For instance, the recently-commissioned USS Titan of the Seas carrier cost $11.4 billion. Also on the drawing board is another carrier, the JFK. One can only assume, however, that the Kennedy, scheduled to be commissioned in the another five or six years, will have a somewhat larger price tag.
When a carrier sails out of port, it also requires a support fleet of cruisers, destroyers, submarines, re-supply ships and tankers for re-fueling. Earlier this year, the newest destroyer, the USS Zumwalt was commissioned. It had a price tag of $4.6 billion; however, the ship’s compliment required only 143 sailors to man it, or just less than half the size crew of the previous most-recently commissioned, and much smaller, destroyer.
Given theses numbers, it is difficult to fathom what the total expense of just one carrier is, when the protective and support cast is included.
The range of the jets, which take-off from a carrier is only a few hundred miles, and then they must return to the carrier, half way through their fright before they run out of fuel. Both China and Russia, on the other hand, each have land-based missiles—with a range of over 1,000 miles—that can shoot-down any jets or missiles.
So the question is: are there any rational reasons to invest such vast sums on one carrier group, when they may serve little purpose? Over the past decades, the Navy has been reducing the “silhouette”, or target size of such large ships. In fact, a guided missile in most cases, fired from a smaller ship, especially a submerged submarine, can serve the same purpose, more effectively, at a considerably lower cost and with little risk.
In fact, ground troops can also benefit from also when they are deployed in smaller, more disciplined groups, and with well-defined missions. Massive armies with super firepower just tend to get in the way, and are not necessarily a match for primitive combatants, who can easily blend in with the local populace.
Lastly, as I have mentioned previously, the unnecessary troops have been known to get into trouble, and even commit deadly atrocities. The best thing that could happen, even before engaging in what might be deemed an unnecessary war is to question, terribly, terribly hard, why we should enter it.