Future of the Carrier?

Lieutenant L. H. Bibbly

Commander Green explores the position of the attack carrier in the event of general war. He makes the good point that air power at sea may well be the only fighting air power remaining. I feel it is reasonable to suggest that the only carriers which would be of much use as a retaliatory force would be those carriers within aircraft range of their targets, or at least able to reach such a position within a reasonable length of time. It would seem to me that for the attack carrier to be effective in time of nuclear unlimited war, our country would have to keep a prohibitive number of carrier task forces on, or near, station. How many missile submarines could be kept on patrol for the same amount of money?

Commander Green is on much more defensible ground when he discusses the attack carrier's position in the event of limited war, but I suggest that he again overstates the carrier's case. "The attack carrier can meet, with the exact amount of power required, any local conflict endangering the United States." Did we not in Korea find ourselves with somewhat less than the exact amount of power required? Do we not now have all the attack carriers necessary to engage in limited war?


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