(See B. Tillman, pp. 16-21, June 2009; T. A. Davis, T. Williams, J. F. Keiler, J. Gabbert, pp. 6-7, July 2009 Proceedings)
Colonel Todd Fredricks, U.S. Army—I have shared Barrett Tillman's concerns for some time. While I am not a professional Sailor I do understand that the United States is a maritime nation and the foundations of our Navy as an active duty, and not a reserve service, are based on the Founders' understanding of our geopolitical position in the world. Two hundred-plus years have not changed this reality. The U.S. Navy needs to be at sea; it needs to be in the littorals and in the riverine regions ensuring freedom of navigation and interdicting threats as they arise. The current problems we face in adequately interdicting pirates off the Horn of Africa stem from a force structure centered around large carriers which present no economy, are unavoidably large and enticing targets for advanced antiship weapons, and cost enormous amounts of money to maintain. We simply cannot afford more ships.