This debate will pit those who advocate for operating carriers inside (carrier-in) the Persian Gulf during a time of conflict against those who advocate a more risk-averse strategy that keeps the carrier outside (carrier-out) the Gulf. The key issue separating these schools of thought centers on one of the critical decisions that has confronted naval leaders since the age of the trireme: when to hazard the Fleet.
This analysis is based on first-hand observations of tabletop war games and discussions with operational planners. Arguing against the carrier-in school of thought, the conclusion reached here is that this theory is as much a product of operational considerations as it is parochial interests of the Navy. The first flaw with the carrier-in option is that it ignores the lessons of understanding the cultural context of the region when planning military operations. Second, this plan neglects to leverage the benefits of joint operations. Finally, this course of action overlooks the history of U.S. Navy carrier operations in all conflicts since the carrier-dominant era.
‘Know The Enemy’