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At a time when military spending is highly scrutinized, Gates thinks it may be time for the U.S. Navy to spend more wisely

The United States Navy and Pentagon officials are working together to discuss the long-scale spending on warships that can cost billions of dollars when completed.

The United States could one day have 11 carrier strike groups that drain billions of dollars in R&D and manufacturing, while every nation has one or less carrier group.

"At the end of the day, we have to ask whether the nation can really afford a Navy that relies on $3 [billion] to $6 billion destroyers, $7 billion submarines and $11 billion carriers," Gates said during a recent conference.  "Mark my words, the Navy and Marine Corps must be willing to re-examine and question basic assumptions in light of evolving technologies, new threats and budget realities."

Possible enemy nations could use long-range ballistic cruise missiles, not ship against ship battles, so the U.S. Navy may not need the type of development it has discussed in the past.  Instead, the Navy could begin looking into expanding its submarine fleet, as there is a growing threat of advanced underwater combat systems being used by other nations.  

New generations of ships and aircraft are important to the Navy, which is still looking forward to the use of its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).  Furthermore, the USN also wants to have a carrier drone available in 2018, an ambitious goal as a drone launching coordinated attacks and reconnaissance from naval carriers would be beneficial.





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This just in...
By iFX on 5/4/2010 7:31:52 AM , Rating: 1
... Officials generally are morons.




RE: This just in...
By gamerk2 on 5/4/2010 7:48:38 AM , Rating: 3
He's right though. Maintaing such a large capital fleet is too expensive, especially since most of the work is done by destroyers/light crusiers these days anyways.

Nevermind that none of our enemys tend to have large standing navies (China has almost no Navy, and Russia focuses mainly on submarine warfare, with few modern surface ships).


RE: This just in...
By vertigo1 on 5/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: This just in...
By theapparition on 5/4/2010 8:10:54 AM , Rating: 5
Wrong on so many points.

China is actively building Aircraft Carriers as we speak, and spending a signifigant portion of capitol to improve thier navy.

Russia is also modernizing thier fleet.

Many small countries have dangerous navy capabilities, such as North Korea, who recently sank a South Korean ship.

But that point is moot, because one of the primary functions of the Navy is not ship-to-ship warfare like was seen in the Pacific Theater, but rather delivery mechanisms to get troops, supplies, and airpower into the battlefield. Or for humanitarian missions.

Which branch of the military fired the first shots in Operation Desert Freedom? Yep, Navy. Who was also the first branch into Hatai? You get the idea.

There will likely never be the full scale ship-to-ship warfare again that happened during WWII, but a strong Navy is still needed.


RE: This just in...
By ducatti20 on 5/4/2010 8:18:24 AM , Rating: 5
Exactly... Gates seems to have issues understanding the value of Power Projection. Subs, destroyers and other small surface vessels can protect things and control small areas, but they can't touch the 1000+ mile power projection of a carrier battle fleet.


RE: This just in...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/5/2010 10:09:05 AM , Rating: 1
I have a problem understanding why we pay government official like Gates so much money. I bet if we cut Congress total budget by 50 or 60% (payroll, aids, office budget, everything) the country would still run as it has for 200 years maybe even better as there would be less interference by Government officials... now if you cut the Navy budget well you run the risk of being attacked with no protection. Best thing is by cutting Congress's budget it would save us more money then the total elimination of all four Military branches. Congress waste so much money it is amazing.


RE: This just in...
By inperfectdarkness on 5/5/2010 6:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
how is this new? gates is an idiot--has been for a long time. replaced general mosely with a yes-man; mosely was scapegoated at first available opportunity, simply because he had the gall to disagree with gates' nearsightedness.

not surprising for a secretary who served under g.w. bush; a president who punctuated his 2nd term in office by replacing different-minded men like powell with more and more yes-men.


RE: This just in...
By CheesePoofs on 5/4/2010 8:58:02 AM , Rating: 3
They're looking to reevaluate, not eliminate, the navy.


RE: This just in...
By mcnabney on 5/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 10:08:05 AM , Rating: 5
"China is 'thinking' about building some light carriers."

China is doing far more than just "thinking about" doing so. It has already purchased three older light aircraft carriers from other nations, as well as much larger, modern one (the Varyag) from Russia. China has also purchased a large number of carrier-based fighters (the Su-33) and several carrier landing systems...vast sums to expend on equipment, if you don't have a carrier to base them on.

"I support agressive tax increases to fund our very expensive to build and maintain carrier task forces"

Eh? We don't need a tax increase to support our current Navy. Obama's last budget was $3.8 trillion dollars, of which only $684B was for the military.


RE: This just in...
By barjebus on 5/4/2010 10:17:56 AM , Rating: 1
http://news.webshots.com/photo/2334257450035382812...

Great comparison of carrier sizes in relation to the U.S.'s super carrier class aircraft carrier. Now realize that the U.S. has 11 of these things, and that the second largest number of aircraft carriers owned by one nation is the U.K.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 10:34:26 AM , Rating: 3
You seem to be thinking that carriers will duke it out in ship-to-ship combat against each other. That's not their role.

A carrier carries aircraft...one carrier wing per ship. A Nimitz class ship carries ~65 aircraft, meaning our 10 ships can therefore project 650 aircraft anywhere in the world. Furthermore, the general rule of thumb is that carrier groups are fully operational about half the time, meaning we can really only count on about half number in an emergency.

Cut our fleet in half, and it means the US may have only two or three carriers operational at any one time....which in turn means we would have as little as 130 fighters to use in a conflict....and that number, only by pulling carrier forces away from every other region on the world, potentially with destabilizing results.


RE: This just in...
By mcnabney on 5/4/2010 11:32:49 AM , Rating: 1
The Nimitz class have 85-90 aircraft onboard.

And they cost too much for what you get. They are handy, but are not needed in such quantity. I'm sorry, but there just isn't going to be another large conventional war. If we ever fight China or Russia directly it is going to be nuclear. It just is. We should be spending money on tools that will handle real threats - NK, Iran, terrorism, pirates.... Not pieces of hardware that are impressive and nostalgic.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 12:12:39 PM , Rating: 5
"there just isn't going to be another large conventional war"

This not only isn't true, but even if it were true, it doesn't mean what you think it does. Take a hypothetical engagement with China, for instance, attempting to invade Taiwan and/or control the entirety of the South China Sea (a region currently partially claimed by several other nations, and one of the primary reasons China is building carriers at present).

Should the US engage conventionally, then it would need carrier groups to counter China's ability to base aircraft from land. Without those carrier groups, our only option is to turn a localized, conventional war immediately into a nuclear war. We obviously would not take that option and thus China, knowing that, would have a free hand in the region.

Our keeping our massive superiority in naval forces, however, will likely restrain China, and prevent such a conflict from ever occurring. That's the point the doves never understand. They see a world without large-scale conflict and believe that's a natural state of affairs, rather than one brought about by our overwhelming military advantage.

To answer your second point that, if such a conflict ever did occur, that it would "go nuclear" regardless. Possibly so. However, if you believe that somehow equates to the carrier forces being redundant, you're sadly mistaken. Nuclear missiles are no longer an ultimate, unstoppable destructive force. The US **already** has naval ships capable of shooting down theatre nuclear missiles, as well as land-based forces that can destroy ICBMs. A carrier group allows us to deploy anti-missile forces closer to the combat, thus eliminating the threat entirely.

As long as the laws of physics operate, the closer you can get your own forces to a theatre, the more force you can exert. And as long as the planet is 71% ocean, we're going to need a navy to move those forces around.

"The Nimitz class have 85-90 aircraft onboard."

They can squeeze that many aboard in a pinch. They normally don't carry that many though.


RE: This just in...
By gamerk2 on 5/4/2010 12:43:39 PM , Rating: 1
Funny; could have sworn the US took over the entire Pacific with only a handful of large carriers back in WWII (rarely more then 5-6 at any one time).

As for China's "navy", the overwhelming majority of funding continues to flow into land-based defenses. China is focused more on its own borders then trying to expand, so a Chinese Navy will almost certianly be undermanned and underfunded. If China changes course, so can we. But at the present, we do NOT need such a large carrier force.

Alternativly, we can raise taxes 10% to cover the costs of keeping such a large military. As conservatives love to point out: We can't have something for nothing.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 1:52:04 PM , Rating: 5
"Funny; could have sworn the US took over the entire Pacific with only a handful of large carriers back in WWII"

And the only reason we won the war in the Pacific is because Japan didn't catch our carriers at Pearl Harbor. Had we had even more carriers, we could have ended the war much sooner, and saved tens of millions of lives. Thank you for proving my point.

Today, with air power much more dominant than it was in WWII, the necessity for carrier groups is even greater. In fact, naval combat per se is essentially dead, which is why we no longer operate battleships. Our entire navy is essentially simply a means to project air power and transport troops and material.

"Alternativly, we can raise taxes 10% to cover the costs of keeping such a large military"

Or we can just cut social spending by 5%.


RE: This just in...
By Ammohunt on 5/4/2010 2:06:39 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Or we can just cut social spending by 5%


Which would increase tax revenue by forcing people to actually work for a living at the same time stimulating the economy. Great idea!


RE: This just in...
By JediJeb on 5/4/2010 2:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, and imagine how much we could stimulate the economy by cutting social spending by 50% :) Raises money coming into the government and lowers money going out, now that would really help lower the deficit quickly.


RE: This just in...
By JediJeb on 5/4/2010 2:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
Also need to point out that if we put those 5 or 6 carriers in one spot to fight a conflict, we would still need 3 or 4 more at least to cover the rest of the oceans. Suppose China starts something in Asia and we sent all of out forces there, then someone else decided to attack our Atlantic coast. Would be nice to have some extra carriers there to cover us.

Every time we have tried to stay out of a conflict, we got dragged into it eventually (WWI, WWII). With the globalization of the economy as it is now, we will always have to be watching the entire world with caution or be caught off guard. If we want to become an isolationist state with our military, then we will have to do it with everything, manufacturing, resources, labor, etc. You either get involved globally in a total fashion or you stay home.


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/4/2010 4:01:01 PM , Rating: 5
And the only reason we won the war in the Pacific is because Japan didn't catch our carriers at Pearl Harbor. Had we had even more carriers, we could have ended the war much sooner, and saved tens of millions of lives. Thank you for proving my point.


You're right about the second part of your post, but this is a tad off.

Had Japan sunk every carrier in the USN at Pearl Harbor (there were 5 at the time, not counting Ranger or Langley) or again at Midway, we still would have won the war (perhaps somewhat later) with overwhelming superiority. By the end of 1945, there were 20 large CVs, and nine smaller CVLs, with a further 14 CVs and 12 CVLs under construction. The US also deployed 122 smaller escort carriers.

Incidentally, the previous poster's claim that we won WW2 "with only a handful of large carriers" is so utterly stupid I'm surprised you let it go without more comment. The US built over 150 carriers during WW2.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 10:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
"Had Japan sunk every carrier at Pearl Harbor...we still would have won the war"

Possibly. It's as likely that Japan, having overwhelming superiority in the Pacific, would have been able to bombard the West Coast, possibly even collaborating with Germany to fully blockade the US and destroy our naval shipbuilding yards.

The war was a close-run thing as it was. Had Germany taken a couple slightly different actions, the Allies would have lost, US carriers or no. Claiming we would have won no matter what is just not supported by the data.

"The US built over 150 carriers during WW2."

Eh? No we didn't. We built something like 26 "true" carriers, and a handful more that were converted from cruisers.


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/5/2010 1:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
Porkpie, I'll grant you on a few other things in this thread and others, but not these.

Possibly. It's as likely that Japan, having overwhelming superiority in the Pacific, would have been able to bombard the West Coast, possibly even collaborating with Germany to fully blockade the US and destroy our naval shipbuilding yards.

No, it's not as likely. It's not likely at all--not even possible. Japan was in no position to do any such thing. Seriously. Not even close. Even supposing they sank all of our pre-war flattops, there's no chance of them "bombarding the West Coast." Even less chance of Japan and Germany collaborating to "fully blockade the US and destroy our naval shipbuilding yards." Germany's navy was overmatched by the Royal Navy--and their hands were full attempting to invade Russia.

The war was a close-run thing as it was. Had Germany taken a couple slightly different actions, the Allies would have lost, US carriers or no.

I'll grant this--to a degree. The Allies would have won in our hypothetical above if and only if the political will to fight remained. Assuming it did, however, WW2 in Europe was over on 22 June, 1941; and in the Pacific on 7 December, 1941. There was essentially no chance for the Axis to defeat the Allies in a total war. Seperate peace, maybe. Stalemate, maybe. Defeat? Absolutely not.

Claiming we would have won no matter what is just not supported by the data.

Well true. Not "no matter what." But barring political cowardice or a national urge for peace, the economic "arsenal of Democracy" of the US coupled with the seemingly unlimited manpower of the USSR made defeat all but inevitable for the Axis.

Now, had Germany deployed thousands of Me-262s in 1940, perhaps you'd be right. But that just wasn't going to happen. The Axis were defeated by their own grim economic realities.

Eh? No we didn't. We built something like 26 "true" carriers, and a handful more that were converted from cruisers.

Er no. Perhaps I should list them for you?
2 Lexington class ships
1 Ranger
3 Yorktowns
1 Wasp
24 Essexes

That's 30 full-size CVs, ranging from 17,500 tons to 39,000 tons displacement.

Then there's the CVLs.
9 Independences, which were indeed converted from cruisers during construction
2 Saipans

Then, finally, there's the CVEs.
2 Long Islands, which were converted from merchantmen
45 Bogues
4 Sangamons, which were converted from oilers
4 Avengers, which were converted from merchantmen
50 Casablancas
19 Commencement Bays

(Incidentally, many of the later CVEs (Casablanca and Commencement Bay classes) were as large or larger than most Japanese fleet carriers.)

That's a total of 136 non-CV carriers. Hardly a "handful," and the vast majority were NOT "converted from cruisers."

If you go back to our hypothetical where the US essentially enters the war with no CVs, CVLs or CVEs, then you've got to assume that A) the war will be delayed, and B)carrier production will be given a priority. That adds a few more ships to the mix, including

8 more Essexes
6 Midways, which were vastly more powerful than any other WW2 ship

and those were just the ones ordered and laid down.

Porkpie, WW2 wasn't won by aircraft carriers or tanks or rifles. It was won by factories. Clearly and decisively so, and the Allies had more factories.

I suggest you read The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, by Paul Kennedy. The economic disparity between the Allies, specifically the US, and the Axis is pretty unbelievable.


RE: This just in...
By Calin on 5/5/2010 2:38:55 AM , Rating: 2
"Japan, having overwhelming superiority in the Pacific, would have been able to bombard the West Coast"

Everyone thought the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour to be pure madness - as it was very far from Japanese support and very near to a major American base. Even more so would be an attack much more distant, against continental USA.
As for German navy... it was hidden most of the war either in German and French ports, or in fjords in Norway (and the surface actions were clear victories for the English). Germany never had the shade of a hope to engage successfully the English navy in a surface battle.
The Battle of Britain could have been changed if the German fighters would have attacked airports (instead of fighting to protect the bombers) - or the airports would have been much well defended.
As for grim realities... the Allies had rubber from colonies, Germany had to manufacture it (at higher costs). The same goes for gasoline, aluminium was also scarce in Europe.
Do you know that USA lost 10 tanks in the campaign in the West for each German tank destroyed? I assume so did the Soviets, and yet USA and USSR had superiority in tanks. Just as Stalin said, "quantity has a quality of its own"


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/5/2010 2:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Even supposing they sank all of our pre-war flattops, there's no chance of them "bombarding the West Coast."

Eh? I don't suppose you realize Japan actually did bombard the Alaskan coast, invade a couple Alaskan islands -- as well as launching fire balloons onto the California coast, and even did a few artillery bombardments of California with submarines. Early in the war, they even ran a subversion campaign against Native Americans and Blacks, to prepare for an eventual all-out invasion.

Had they destroyed our entire Navy at Pearl Harbor, they most certainly would have devoted much more efforts in this area. There really isn't any room to debate this.

"That's 30 full-size CVs..."

Now you're counting the ones built well before the war began. The original statement was carriers built during the war.

"...9 Independences, which were indeed converted from cruisers during construction..."

As I said.

"Then, finally, there's the CVEs."

I wouldn't count a CVE as an actual aircraft carrier; it was barely over 1/4 the tonnage of a WW2-era Essex Class, and less than 1/10 the tonnage of a modern carrier. If you're going to count any ship that had aircraft aboard as a full-fledged carrier, then I grant you the point.

"Germany's hands were full attempting to invade Russia."

Germany's ill-timed invasion of the Soviet Union was one of those small changes I alluded to. The war began, if you recall, with a pact between the two nations....a pact Germany later abrogated.

"Porkpie, WW2 wasn't won by aircraft carriers or tanks or rifles. It was won by factories. Clearly and decisively so, and the Allies had more factories."

Most certainly. However, the point you miss is that factories require resources and protection from enemy raids and bombing campaigns. Had the US lost their entire navy at Pearl Harbor, much of our industrial capacity could have been exposed to enemy attack, or strangled of critical resources due to naval blockade.

Am I saying that was a definite outcome? No, of course not...no one can do that. But as close as the Allied victory was, it is certainly a possibility.


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/5/2010 3:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Had they destroyed our entire Navy at Pearl Harbor


Who said anything about destroying the entire US Navy? This is about "And the only reason we won the war in the Pacific is because Japan didn't catch our carriers at Pearl Harbor."

Sure, if we revise and say "Japan prayed to God and He struck down the entire US Navy, Pacific and Atlantic fleets and all the little auxiliary craft, on Dec 7, 1941, and Hitler wasn't a raving madman who declared war on his ally the USSR", then sure, things look a lot better for the Axis powers.


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/5/2010 3:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't suppose you realize Japan actually did bombard the Alaskan coast, invade a couple Alaskan islands -- as well as launching fire balloons onto the California coast, and even did a few artillery bombardments of California with submarines.

All of which did what, exactly? They occupied Attu and Kiska. Have you ever been to the Aleutians, Porkpie? I have. There is ZERO strategic value to those particular islands.

The fire balloons (stuck the entire Pac NW, not California) were ineffective, as were the submarine bombardments. There was no credible way Japan could have successfully struck at the US West Coast to cause any real damage.

Had they destroyed our entire Navy at Pearl Harbor, they most certainly would have devoted much more efforts in this area. There really isn't any room to debate this.


Actually there is lots of room. I suggest you read up on Japan's logistic difficulties with mounting the Pearl Harbor raid, let along occupying Hawaii (which they'd certainly need to do in order to attack the West Coast). They were not capable of such an operation! Not even close!

Now you're counting the ones built well before the war began. The original statement was carriers built during the war.


Alright, I grant that I misspoke earlier. I should have said deployed during WW2, not built. Better?

As I said.


No, not as you said. You said a handful, and left out the Saipan class CVLs, as well as most of the CVEs.

And speaking of CVEs...
wouldn't count a CVE as an actual aircraft carrier; it was barely over 1/4 the tonnage of a WW2-era Essex Class, and less than 1/10 the tonnage of a modern carrier. If you're going to count any ship that had aircraft aboard as a full-fledged carrier, then I grant you the point.


Touche'. However, the late-war Commencement Bay class CVEs displaced nearly 25,000 tons (nearly 70% of the Essex), the IJN Shokaku, Japan's best fleet carrier, displaced only 32,000 tons. That's relatively insignificant, especially considering that the US launched 19 Commencement Bays, while Japan had only 2 Shokakus.

Germany's ill-timed invasion of the Soviet Union was one of those small changes I alluded to. The war began, if you recall, with a pact between the two nations....a pact Germany later abrogated.


Hardly a small change. Have you read Mein Kampf? Hitler and Stalin were not friendly. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was merely one of convienence, and both sides fully intended to break it ASAP.

Again, Porkpie, the Axis were doomed seperately, by Germany's decision to make war on Russia (or, Russia's eventual decision to make war on Germany), and Japan's decision to attack the US. There was ZERO CHANCE of a unified Axis military defeat of the Allies.

Similarly, there was ZERO CHANCE that the US industrial capacity would be directly attacked.

It was not close.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/5/2010 5:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
"There is ZERO strategic value to those particular islands."

Eh? Those islands controlled Pacific Great Circle routes. General Mitchell, father of the USAF, called the location the most strategic point of the Pacific war.

Japan believed holding those islands would prevent a US attack from the North Pacific, and the US believed that Japan, if not dislodged, would use them as logistic bases for attacks on the West Coast. This isn't rocket science -- remember your allusions to logistical problems on the attack on Pearl Harbor? A nearby land base solves those problems. Alaska to Seattle or Portland is far closer than Japan is to Hawaii.

WAS Japan effective in its West Coast campaign? Of course not...but would it have been, sans the entire US Pacific Fleet? Quite possibly so.

"No, not as you said. You said a handful"

You're confusing me with the other poster.

"Touche'. However, the late-war Commencement Bay class CVEs displaced nearly 25,000 tons"

Sure...I probably should have counted those. But how many of them actually saw combat during the war? Three? Most were built too late.


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/5/2010 6:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"No, not as you said. You said a handful"

You're confusing me with the other poster.


Now don't be a liar.
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=18291...

quote:
Of course not...but would it have been, sans the entire US Pacific Fleet?


Stop trying to move the goal posts. The scenario isn't the vaporization of the Pacific Fleet, it was the elimination of the carriers supposing they had been present at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7 1941. Other ships did in fact survive.

quote:
Eh? Those islands controlled Pacific Great Circle routes. General Mitchell, father of the USAF, called the location the most strategic point of the Pacific war.


Of course by the time the Japanese had taken the Aleutians, time was busy ticking away against the Japanese. It was the middle of 1942, same time as Midway, when they attacked there. It would have taken more time to actually launch any meaningful attack from there, time the Japanese simply didn't have. US shipyards on both coasts were busy as were the US aircraft factories. By the time the Japanese would be in a position to launch a real assault on the US West Coast, the odds would be badly against them.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/5/2010 6:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
"Now don't be a liar."

If you're going to be obnoxiously insulting, at least be accurate.

Gamer2k posted "Funny; could have sworn the US took over the entire Pacific with only a handful of large carriers"

Steele replied: "The previous poster's claim that we won WW2 "with only a handful of large carriers" is so utterly stupid I'm surprised you let it go without more comment. The US built over 150 carriers during WW2."

I replied: "We built something like 26 "true" carriers, AND a handful more"

The statement is correct, if you don't count the tiny escort carriers -- which are not "true" carriers, by most people's definition.

"Stop trying to move the goal posts. The scenario isn't the vaporization of the Pacific Fleet, it was the elimination of the carriers"

Other than the ships at Pearl Harbor and the carriers, what remains of the Pacific Fleet? Not enough to conduct any offensive operation. Countless military historians have agreed that, without the carrier fleet, the US would have been unable to accomplish anything substantive beyond the occasional raid on mercantile shipping.


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/5/2010 6:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I replied: "We built something like 26 "true" carriers, AND a handful more"

The statement is correct, if you don't count the tiny escort carriers -- which are not "true" carriers, by most people's definition.


No, it isn't correct.

Yes, escort carriers are not "true" carriers, but you had already counted the 26 "true" carriers. You then mentioned "and a handful more", presumably meaning "non-true" carriers. However, over 100 escort carriers isn't "a handful" of "non-true" carriers, so your statement becomes false.

quote:
Other than the ships at Pearl Harbor and the carriers, what remains of the Pacific Fleet? Not enough to conduct any offensive operation. Countless military historians have agreed that, without the carrier fleet, the US would have been unable to accomplish anything substantive beyond the occasional raid on mercantile shipping.


They only needed to do one thing: buy time for the shipyards and airplane factories to do their jobs by any means necessary.

As mentioned I mentioned elsewhere, the US produced 45k aircraft in 1942. For reference, the Japanese produced about 8k. What do you think the odds are of a Japanese attack succeeding on the West Coast with that kind of air power at the US disposal, not to mention the ships that were being put into the water.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/5/2010 7:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
"You then mentioned "and a handful more", presumably meaning "non-true" carriers"

Look, the posts are there in black and white. Surely you can read? I said the "handful" were those converted from cruisers. The escorts weren't counted as all, as they were too small to fit the definition -- again, as has already been said.

"the US produced 45k aircraft in 1942...What do you think the odds are of a Japanese attack succeeding on the West Coast with that kind of air power at the US disposal?""

The vast majority of those aircraft were trainers, useless in combat, and bombers, nearly all of which were shipped (along with many of the fighters) to the European campaign. Had the US been forced to devote the bulk of its production to fending off the Japanese, Britain would have quickly folded.

You're just not getting the point. Comparing US and Japanese production is meaningless. The Allies won because the US was able to fend off the Japanese with a small amount of its industrial production, while sending the bulk of material to the European campaign.


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/5/2010 8:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
Porkpie, I'm responding to this post, but I have to address your other comments as well.

Yes, the Aleutians were astride the Great Circle route, but that is NOT why the Japanese occupied Attu and Kiska. They did so as a diversion to draw US forces away from their real target: Midway. This is common knowledge. Look it up. And I need to dispell any illusions you have that they planned or intended or were even capable of using them as "logistics bases." The weather is too horrible, the distances too great, and they are too isolated from support bases to resist a US counterattack.

Second, you DID say, "a handful of other carriers," in the same sentence as you referenced the 26 "true carriers," implying that the 100-odd CVEs were merely a handful. Semantics, sure.

The Commencement Bay class ships were constructed and launched during the war. In a hypothetical scenario where Pearl Harbor annhilates the US Pacific Fleet, all of these ships will be commissioned during the war. Incidentally, the Bogue class, all 45 of them measured up at 21,000 tons full-load displacement, also nearly two-thirds of the IJN's dleet carriers, and were also used in fleet actions.

The vast majority of those aircraft were trainers, useless in combat, and bombers, nearly all of which were shipped (along with many of the fighters) to the European campaign. Had the US been forced to devote the bulk of its production to fending off the Japanese, Britain would have quickly folded.

Actually, Porkpie, you're wrong on two counts here.
First, of the US production of aircraft in 1942, 11K were fighters, and 12K were bombers of various types. Now, Wikipedia claims that 17K trainers were built, but trainer types included F-types (fotorecon), T-types (multiplace trainers and targets) and c-types (cargo aircraft). Look up the US Strategic Bombing Survey, which I believe has a more detailed breakdown than Wikipedia. Incidentally, Germany produced a total of 12,800 aircraft in 1942, while the UK built nearly 24,000. Britain is unlikely to have "quickly folded." And don't start telling me how Sealion would have worked.

You're just not getting the point. Comparing US and Japanese production is meaningless.

False. Production is why the Allies won. See Read Richard Overy's Why the Allies Won.

The Allies won because the US was able to fend off the Japanese with a small amount of its industrial production...

Very very very true.

...while sending the bulk of material to the European campaign.

Again very true.

Consider this: The US led the world in production of nearly every strategic material, from oil to coal to steel to uranium; US workers were the most efficient in the world, while enjoying the world's highest standard of living; and the US fought the TWO most expensive wars in history (in dollar cost), while at the same time undertaking the single most ambitious research program in history (The Manhattan Project). The US and ONLY THE US was capable of doing so.

No, Porkpie, you're not getting the point: WW2 was not a "close-run thing." Not even close.

I'm done debating this with you--it's too taxing trying to educate you on basic facts, and you've got too many Wikifacts in your brain to make room for real information. If you want to learn or know more, I'll happily tell you, but you've got to stop this nonsense.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/5/2010 8:29:10 PM , Rating: 2
"Yes, the Aleutians were astride the Great Circle route, but that is NOT why the Japanese occupied Attu and Kiska. They did so as a diversion....this is common knowledge".

A "diversion" they occupied for nearly a year? I realize that, while some regard the campaign as no more than a diversion, many historians believe otherwise. I suggest reading a book like one of the two below, both of which conclude it was an integral part of Japanese strategy:

http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Sword-Untold-Battl...

http://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Mile-War-Aleutians-...

"Second, you DID say, "a handful of other carriers," in the same sentence as you referenced the 26 "true carriers," implying that the 100-odd CVEs were merely a handful."

No, it implied they weren't classes as carriers at all, a categorization not uncommon among military historians of the period.

" Britain is unlikely to have "quickly folded."

Again, your opinion here goes against the majority viewpoint of historical scholars who conclude that, without US aid, Britain would have been overwhelmed in less than two years.

"False. Production is why the Allies won."

Good god, can you not read plain English? I'm not disputing that point at all. Read my post again, pointing out which words you didn't understand, and I'll see if I can rephrase it.


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/5/2010 9:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
Porkpie, sorry to burst your bubble, it was merely a diversion. They were there for a long time (slightly more than a year, in fact) because it was difficult to evacuate.

As for those books, I've only read the first one once, but I have a special fondness for that particular edition of the latter: I wrote the foreword. The Aleutian Campaign was important, sure, and integral in the sense that without splitting the US fleet, Yamamoto would have little chance of a decisive battle at Midway. A diversion on a grand scale is still a diversion.

No, it implied they weren't classes as carriers at all, a categorization not uncommon among military historians of the period.

Cite this claim. It's absolute BS. Just about any of the books on the Wikipedia entry for 'Escort Carriers' will tell you this. I suggest Norman Friedman's US Aircraft Carriers.

Again, your opinion here goes against the majority viewpoint of historical scholars who conclude that, without US aid, Britain would have been overwhelmed in less than two years.

Two years =/ quickly. However, if you indeed meant two years or thereabouts, fair enough--assuming that by folded you mean an armistice. I'll grant that one. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Good god, can you not read plain English? I'm not disputing that point at all. Read my post again, pointing out which words you didn't understand, and I'll see if I can rephrase it.

You said, "Comparing US and Japanese production is meaningless." I dispute that fact.

Porkpie, my fundamental point, which you seem to be disputing, is that the economic might of the Allies, and in particular the US, was so unbelievably greater than that of the Axis as to make any total war all but unwinnable for Germany and Japan.

No miraculous sinking-of-the-carriers would have changed this, neither would an increased focus on jet aircraft or secret weapons.

In any case, can you not see that a lot of your arguments are pretty semantic? Maybe that's partly my fault, but seriously. Do you really need to make a case out of the breakdown of the US carrier fleet? I mean, Porkpie, you've got to be able to admit you're wrong--something I've NEVER seen you do--rather than make up BS about the CVEs not being real carriers.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/5/2010 11:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
" I have a special fondness for that particular edition of the latter: I wrote the foreword"

So you're Terrence Cole, author of the Capture of Attu? If you've indeed read Shattered Sword, then you know the authors specifically claim the Aleutian campaign was *not* a diversion. And if you're Cole, you also realize there's a great deal of debate on the subject. So why are you trying to claim its "common knowledge" it was merely a diversion?

" Just about any of the books on the Wikipedia entry for 'Escort Carriers' will tell you this"

You may not be aware that the CVE class ships weren't even classed as combatant ships until sometime in late 1943 (I'm too tired to look up the exact date at present). Before that, they were designated ACV's

As for "citing this claim", how about Ohio State University's eHistory page? Note it doesn't class the CVEs as carriers:

ehistory.osu.edu/wwii/USNCV dot cfm

This Univ. North Carolina site excludes CVEs and CVUs (the "utility" carriers):

metalab.unc.edu/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/shu sn-no/cv-no dot htm

This naval history site doesn't list the CVE's as carriers:

www.navsource.org/archives/02idx dot htm

(links altered because of DT's brainless anti-spam system)

There are plenty of sources which include them, but there's certainly grounds for calling a ship smaller than most WW2 cruisers (not to mention a battleship) as a full-fledged aircraft carrier.

"economic might of the Allies [made] any total war all but unwinnable for Germany and Japan."

Had Germany not invaded Russia, the Axis would have almost certainly won. Had the Japanese caught our carriers at Pearl Harbor, the war would have gone on considerably longer, and changed enough other variables that no one can say with certainty what exactly would have happened. I find it unlikely that this alone would have resulted in an Axis victory, but not impossible.

History is littered with examples of wars where the richer nation lost. Economic might is a very strong advantage, but far from an insurmountable one. From the Manchu invasion of China to the "first" World War (the Seven Year War of 1756) up to the Vietnam War, the larger economy doesn't always win.

"I mean, Porkpie, you've got to be able to admit you're wrong--something I've NEVER seen you do"

I've been demonstrably wrong twice on this site, and admitted it both times. If you want to see it more often, prove me wrong more often. :)


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/5/2010 11:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are plenty of sources which include them, but there's certainly grounds for calling a ship smaller than most WW2 cruisers (not to mention a battleship) as a full-fledged aircraft carrier.


Nobody here is calling them a full fledged fleet carrier... But they carried a couple dozen combat aircraft apiece, thus they are in fact carriers. If you look in Jane's Fighting Ships Of WWII, they are listed with carriers. They aren't battleships, cruisers, destroyers, tenders, etc. They were very light carriers. And in spite of how light they were, they gave a damned good accounting for themselves when tested by fire.

quote:
Had Germany not invaded Russia, the Axis would have almost certainly won


Had the dog not stopped to piss, he would have caught the hare. Irrelevant. If Hitler were not a madman, WWII wouldn't have occurred in the first place.

quote:
Had the Japanese caught our carriers at Pearl Harbor, the war would have gone on considerably longer, and changed enough other variables that no one can say with certainty what exactly would have happened. I find it unlikely that this alone would have resulted in an Axis victory, but not impossible.


So then you admit that this statement of yours

quote:
And the only reason we won the war in the Pacific is because Japan didn't catch our carriers at Pearl Harbor.


is just a tad overblown?


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/6/2010 6:08:29 AM , Rating: 2
"They were very light carriers"

No, sorry. Light carriers were an entirely different (and much larger) category.

"They aren't battleships, cruisers, destroyers, tenders, etc"

And, until the war was already half-over, they weren't even classed as warships.

"If Hitler were not a madman, WWII wouldn't have occurred in the first place."

Come now, and I thought you were a serious student of history. The "it's all Hitler's fault" paradigm is generally not taught past the 9th grade level.

"So then you admit that this statement of yours..is just a tad overblown"

If I were writing a paper on the subject, rather than replying to an already-off topic forum post, then I should have expressed less certainty in the outcome, sure. Had Japan destroyed our carriers, we may have still won the war in the Pacific.


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/6/2010 8:15:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, sorry. Light carriers were an entirely different (and much larger) category.


I didn't say they were "Light Carriers". I said they were very light carriers. For the context the statement was made in, it is a fair assessment. But keep running with your arguments in semantics. They make you seem so bright.

quote:
And, until the war was already half-over, they weren't even classed as warships.


But they were classified as warships, and they served quite well.

quote:
Come now, and I thought you were a serious student of history. The "it's all Hitler's fault" paradigm is generally not taught past the 9th grade level.


I never said "it's all Hitler's fault". But without a madman in charge of Germany, the war would indisputably have been very different. Not invading the USSR isn't some "small" change, at least not in my mind or that of any rational person. Not having a micromanaging psychopath as your Fuhrer is no small change either. Sorry Charlie.

quote:
If I were writing a paper on the subject, rather than replying to an already-off topic forum post, then I should have expressed less certainty in the outcome, sure. Had Japan destroyed our carriers, we may have still won the war in the Pacific.


Now don't backtrack. You said just stated "I find it unlikely that this alone would have resulted in an Axis victory, but not impossible. " I would agree with this statement. Nobody is disputing that it would have been a painful blow. But the fact remains that the odds were still tilted heavily against Japan in spite of the US's momentary weakness, something you seem to acknowledge without out and out saying "I'm sorry guys, I was wrong".


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/6/2010 11:41:39 AM , Rating: 2
"I didn't say they were "Light Carriers". I said they were very light carriers...But keep running with your arguments in semantics."

You invent your own category of aircraft carrier, and then accuse me of debating semantics? Amusing. Even more entertaining is your continuing to belabor the point when I clearly said this over a dozen posts ago:
quote:
I wouldn't count a CVE as an actual aircraft carrier; it was barely over 1/4 the tonnage of a WW2-era Essex Class, and less than 1/10 the tonnage of a modern carrier. If you're going to count any ship that had aircraft aboard as a full-fledged carrier, then I grant you the point.


A tiny 8,000 ton ship, not even originally designed as a warship is not what we think of today as an "aircraft carrier". It is simply a ferryboat for planes and explains why the Navy originally made the distinction between them and the warships which were fleet carriers.

Still, if you want to play semantics games, more power to you. I've already said long ago I'll cede the point.

"But they were classified as warships, and they served quite well."

During the evacuation of Dunkirk, small fishing boats and pleasure yachts served as troop transports too -- and they served quite well. What point do you believe you're making here? Wartime necessity makes for strange bedfellows.


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/6/2010 11:55:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You invent your own category of aircraft carrier


I wasn't inventing a category of aircraft carrier. I was stating that CVEs, aka Escort Carriers, aka Jeep Carriers, were simply very light carriers. Moreover, we aren't counting any ship that had aircraft aboard as a full fledged carrier. We are simply stating that CVEs, which carried and operated a couple dozen combat aircraft, were carriers. No, not fleet carriers, but carriers nonetheless.

quote:
A tiny 8,000 ton ship, not even originally designed as a warship is not what we think of today as an "aircraft carrier". It is simply a ferryboat for planes and explains why the Navy originally made the distinction between them and the warships which were fleet carriers.


Blah blah blah blah, blah. CVEs were still made to be combat ships in the same way DEs were combat ships. Not only were CVEs good for protecting convoys and actively hunting down u-boats, they were quite useful at providing air cover for amphibious landings in the Pacific. No, they weren't made for front line combat against IJN carriers, but that doesn't subtract a whit from the fact that they were still combat ships, and darned effective ones at that.

quote:
During the evacuation of Dunkirk, small fishing boats and pleasure yachts served as troop transports too -- and they served quite well. What point do you believe you're making here? Wartime necessity makes for strange bedfellows.


Ahh but the Royal Navy never classified those ships as troop transports. They were used one time for one job. Escort carriers were built with a purpose in mind. The US Navy classified them as escort carriers , not tenders, not ferries, but carriers. You can argue all you want; you can cite historians that say they aren't "real" carriers, but the fact of the matter is the US Navy considered them carriers; escort carriers, yes, but carriers all the same.

quote:
I've already said long ago I'll cede the point.


Wonderful! Then I guess this is over? You seem to have given up on defending your statement that the US was doomed if it lost all its carriers at Pearl Harbor, which instigated this whole line of discussion. Can we presume that you made a false statement and have been corrected?


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/5/2010 11:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This naval history site doesn't list the CVE's as carriers:


This one does:

http://www.navy.mil/navydata/navy_legacy_hr.asp?id...

And I quote:
"A Brief History of U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers
The Escort Carriers"

But what do they know.


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/6/2010 12:12:54 AM , Rating: 2
So you're Terrence Cole, author of the Capture of Attu?

You could say that; but I wasn't really the author. You haven't actually read it, have you?

If you've indeed read Shattered Sword, then you know the authors specifically claim the Aleutian campaign was *not* a diversion.

Yes, I do, and yes, they claim that. Doesn't make it so. Lot's of writers make different claims.

And if you're Cole...

My wife says I am.

...you also realize there's a great deal of debate on the subject.

I wouldn't say there's a great deal of debate--some, certainly. However, I will grant that perhaps some terminology is being confused. Yes, the invasion of the Aleutians was important--however, I BELIEVE it was Yamamoto's plan to seperate the US fleet so it could be destroyed peacemeal. The Pacific Fleet was indeed the greatest visible threat to Japan's empire.

You may not be aware that the CVE class ships weren't even classed as combatant ships until sometime in late 1943 (I'm too tired to look up the exact date at present). Before that, they were designated ACV's


Do you know what ACV means? It means Auxiliary Aircraft Carrier. Even before that they were called something else--ACG or something. Sure, they weren't fleet carriers (CVs), but they were sure as hell aircraft carriers.

various links

They're welcome to their opinions. As am I. As are you. I happen to disagree with them. CVEs aren't as sexy as CVs or the like, but they played a huge role in WW2, and they were sure as hell considered carriers at the time. Again, not FLEET carriers, but aircraft carriers nonetheless.

There are plenty of sources which include them, but there's certainly grounds for calling a ship smaller than most WW2 cruisers (not to mention a battleship) as a full-fledged aircraft carrier.

You must be getting tired, but I understand what you mean.

Sure, there is. But there's a difference between full-fledged aircraft carrier and "weren't classes [sic] as carriers at all," which is what you said about 4 hours ago. Exactly what you said. So which is it?

Incidentally, the Commencement Bay class ships, as I've said repeatedly, were rather large. Their full load displacement of 25,000 tons compares well to 22,000 tons of the Des Moines class of heavy cruisers, the largest all-gun heavy cruisers ever deployed by the USN, with the exception of the Alaska class. So to claim that CVEs were smaller than "most WW2 cruisers" is not demonstrably true. In any case, at least 19 of the CVEs were larger than most WW2 cruisers.

Had Germany not invaded Russia, the Axis would have almost certainly won.

"Won" is debatable. Germany may have reached a seperate peace with the US, but Japan was going down, pretty much no matter what. Britain would have likely been toast without any US aid and without a land war in Russia; however, Stalin was preparing for a war with Germany, and could potentially have attacked on his own terms by 1944.

In no realistic scenario are the Axis powers actually going to defeat the US. An armistice or seperate peace is plausible under several scenarios, but an actual defeat is ludicrous.

History is littered with examples of wars where the richer nation lost. Economic might is a very strong advantage, but far from an insurmountable one. From the Manchu invasion of China to the "first" World War (the Seven Year War of 1756) up to the Vietnam War, the larger economy doesn't always win.


One could argue the opposite. The Seven Years War's biggest victor was Britain, who possessed the largest of the European economies. I don't really know much about Manchu China, but going back to about thr 1500s, most wars are won by the richest nations--or, at least, those with the largest economies.

In any event, that has certainly been the case with every industrial total war--WW1 and WW2 are the primary examples. I cannot think of an industrialized total war where the nation with the larger economy lost.

I've been demonstrably wrong twice on this site, and admitted it both times. If you want to see it more often, prove me wrong more often. :)

Fair enough--although that's a bit of an arrogant claim. I think I did just prove you wrong, though.

Do you know what's really ironic about all this nonsense? I actually AGREE with the point you were making about 7000 comments ago. The USN needs to remain strong.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/6/2010 5:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
" The Seven Years War's biggest victor was Britain, who possessed the largest of the European economies."

Eh? No, this is pre-Industrial Britain, remember. At the start of the war, France was both the larger economic and colonial power, and a vastly larger population (some 2-3X as large). Britain had a slightly larger per-capita income, but not nearly large enough to make up for the vast population disparity.

It wasn't until Britain received the fruits of its victory here that it became the larger colonial power...and it wasn't until the Industrial revolution began that it became the largest economy in Europe.

"most wars are won by the richest nations--or, at least, those with the largest economies."

Yes. However, not all wars were won by the largest economies. Meaning your statement that the Allied "had to win" is demonstrably false by the lessons of history.

"I cannot think of an industrialized total war where the nation with the larger economy lost."

So you use the "total" designation to toss out wars like Vietnam where the larger economy lost...and use "industrialized" to toss out conflict like the Seven Years War where, again, the larger economy lost. That leaves what, all of WWI and WWII to choose from? Does the concept of a statistical universe mean anything to you?

"Do you know what ACV means? It means Auxiliary Aircraft Carrier. "

It meant a non-combatant auxiliary carrier. Until late 1943, these weren't even classed as warships. They were essentially ferry boats for planes. They were escorts...but not for warships, but for merchants. This is one of the reasons they're often classed separately.

"You could say that; but I wasn't really the author...My wife says I am."

You might want to make up your mind on who you really are.

"You haven't actually read it, have you?"

The Capture of Attu? No...I did read both the others though, and both of them dispute your point.

"Incidentally, the Commencement Bay class ships, as I've said repeatedly, were rather large"

You keep harping on this point. I've already said these should have been included -- however the fact that only 3 (?) saw active combat doesn't change the "handful" designation.

" I think I did just prove you wrong, though."

You've proven that you and some historians disagree with me and some other historians. Essentially what I said after your initial post on CVEs.


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/6/2010 11:39:37 AM , Rating: 2
Eh? No, this is pre-Industrial Britain, remember. At the start of the war, France was both the larger economic and colonial power

Read Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Britain did not posses a larger economy, but per capita was much richer. She also had the richest banking system in the world, and could extend credit easily to her allies.

In any case, that's irrelevant. It was not an industrialized war, nor was it truly a total war. There aren't many of those. And yes, I toss out Vietnam. Sorry.

It meant a non-combatant auxiliary carrier.

Really? Are you sure? You might want to re-think what you're saying. ACV means "Auxiliary Carrier Vessel, ie, aircraft carrier! That's EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS! THAT'S ALL IT MEANS! NO-ONE in the USN in WW2 thought of CVEs or ACVS AS "non-combatants!"

The concept of the escort carrier was born out of the "auxiliary-armed-merchantmen" and "seaplane-armed-merchantmen" anti-submarine vessels, sure. But by late 1942, it had evolved into, quite simply, a smaller aircraft carrier.

Look, the USS Long Island, the first CVE built by the US, provided air cover for the attack on Guadalcanal. She received a battle star! Not too shabby for a non-combatant, wouldn't you say?

The Capture of Attu? No...

See, I know you didn't read it--all you did was plug my name into Google or somesuch. I know this because you called me the author. That book was written in 1943, before I was born. I edited and wrote a foreword to it as part of a reprint series much later.

I did read both the others though, and both of them dispute your point.


No, only one of them does. But you go ahead and think whatever you like.

You keep harping on this point. I've already said these should have been included -- however the fact that only 3 (?) saw active combat doesn't change the "handful" designation.

What? Who cares how many saw combat? 19 (!) were launched during the war! It's not harping on anything to continue to count them as aircraft carriers!

Why in the hell are you making a major case out of this? (Why am I doing so?) You know what? Fine. Go ahead and continue to discount the use of and contributions by CVE/ACVs during WW2. But know that while you're doing so, that your related opinions are being automatically discounted by the vast majority (IE, all of them) of naval historians.

You've proven that you and some historians disagree with me and some other historians. Essentially what I said after your initial post on CVEs.

Right. Show me ONE historian who will stand behind the claim that CVEs were non-combatants or were not considered aircraft carriers. Not true carriers or any other BS, but actual aircraft carriers. Just one.

Failing to include them in a list of CVs doesn't count--because they're not as sexy, they don't get the coverage in informal works so people often forget them.

Incidentally...

No, sorry. Light carriers were an entirely different (and much larger) category.

...is more BS. The Saipain class, for example, were only slightly larger than the Casablanca or Bogue class; and actually smaller than the Commencement Bays.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/6/2010 12:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
" Britain did not posses a larger economy, but per capita was much richer. "

Not much richer. About 25% larger per capita, at the start of the Seven Years War.

And what in the world does your silly statement have to do with the argument anyway? Your original claim was that the larger economy always wins. France had a much larger total economy. Luxembourg has a larger per-capita economy than the US. Do you believe they can beat us in a war?

"NO-ONE in the USN in WW2 thought of CVEs or ACVS AS "non-combatants!""

I'm sorry, but this isn't accurate. They were reclassified from AVG (airplane escort vessels ) then briefly (a few months) to ACV (still an auxiliary, noncombatant classification) and then to CVE (a combatant ship) just for this very reason. The designation changes reflect their changing role in combat. Many of them actually began life with the "AO" (an oiler ship) designation.

Even more telling is what the remaining CVE class was converted to after the war -- AKV: "Airplane ferries".

" But by late 1942, it had evolved into, quite simply, a smaller aircraft carrier."

By mid 1943, you mean -- when the CVE designation began to be used, and ships actually designed for combat were starting to pour off the dockyards.

"See, I know you didn't read it"

I never claimed I did, nor did I even reference anything from it. I read the two previous books I originally linked. What's your point here?

"Why in the hell are you making a major case out of this? (Why am I doing so?)"

If you can answer part b, you can likely answer part a as well. :)

" Go ahead and continue to discount the use of and contributions by CVE/ACVs during WW2. "

I'm not discouting their contribution in any way. I'm discounting your classification of that contribution.

"your related opinions are being automatically discounted by the vast majority (IE, all of them) of naval historians."

Now, this is just an outright lie. You've already admitted other historians had differing views here. You merely believe they're "wrong".


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/6/2010 1:20:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is ZERO strategic value to those particular islands.
What I find most amusing is your sticking to this particular pronouncement, while still claiming the entire Aleutians Campaign was merely a diversion. Do you honestly not see the essential dichotomy in your position?

An opponent does not feign a diversion to an entirely non-strategic location. What would be the point? If the islands truly had no value, the diversion would have neither, as Japan would expect the Allies would have been happy to leave them there, wasting manpower and resources in a location utterly without value.

Similarly, even had Japan so drastically miscalculated, the Allies would have not expended thousands of lives to regain those islands, had there not been value to doing so.

The simple fact is your statement couldn't possible be wrong. There is debate on whether or not the attack was a diversion. There is, however, no room to debate the strategic value of the location itself.

Or are you going to continue to argue that the high commands of both the Japanese and the US/Canadian -- as well as every military strategist and leader whose ever spoken on the subject -- are all wrong, and you, alone in the cosmos -- are correct?


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/6/2010 3:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
There is ZERO strategic value to those particular islands.

Well, let me rephrase that, then. You're right, there obviously is a strategic value to Attu and Kiska.

There was zero strategic value gained by the Japanese from their occupation of those particular islands, except inasmuch as they required an investment of US forces to throw them out.

Is that better?


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/6/2010 1:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not much richer. About 25% larger per capita, at the start of the Seven Years War.

Fine. Again, read Paul Kennedy.

I'm sorry, but this isn't accurate. They were reclassified from AVG (airplane escort vessels ) then briefly (a few months) to ACV (still an auxiliary, noncombatant classification) and then to CVE (a combatant ship) just for this very reason. The designation changes reflect their changing role in combat. Many of them actually began life with the "AO" (an oiler ship) designation.

Porkpie, Auxiliary does not mean non-combatant. And designations aside, the USN considered them and used them as combat ships. By late 1942, when Long Island fought at Guadalcanal and earned her battle star, the class of ships were soldily considered to be combat vessels.

never claimed I did, nor did I even reference anything from it.

Then why bring it up?

read the two previous books I originally linked.

If you read Garfield, and paid attention, you know he doesn't actually go out of his way to make the claim that the Aleutian Campaign was an integral part of Japanese grand strategy. In fact, he calls it a "peripheral campaign," or words to that effect!

I'm not discouting their contribution in any way. I'm discounting your classification of that contribution.

Fair enough. I "classify" their contribution as important. What do you classify it as?

Now, this is just an outright lie.

No, not at all. If you really are going to maintain that CVEs were not considered aircraft carriers during WW2, then you are in the distinct minority among educated opinions. So much so that one must take the rest of your statements with an according grain of salt.

Again, show me ONE historian who will stand behind the claim that CVEs were non-combatants or were not considered aircraft carriers. Just one. If there's a real historical debate about this, it should be easy, right?

But you know what? Since there is no such historian, don't even bother. This is a pointless debate--I don't know why I let myself be drawn into it.

Since you won't listen to me and you won't listen to Steve, you won't listen to Jane's and you won't listen to the US Navy, I don't know what else to say.

I don't particularly want to argue this anymore. Whatever they were called prior to the end of 1942, when they were reclassed as ACVs (Auxiliary AIRCRAFT CARRIER ), they became, in the eyes of the USN, aircraft carriers. When they were reclassed as CVEs, there should be no doubt--and considering that most of them were launched AS CVEs, that should be sufficient, right?


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/6/2010 3:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
"Fine. Again, read Paul Kennedy."

Your mantra-like repetition of this might impress a head-hiding ostrich, but the facts remain. Throughout history, there have been numerous cases where the larger economy lost the war.

Those simple-minded analysts (and I am, by the way, not taking a personal fling at you here) who wish to boil down reality to trite truisms like "the biggest economy always wins", or "the best technology always wins", or "the nation with the most will to fight always wins" are sadly always doomed to fail. You just cannot simplify things to this extent.

Economic might is a strong factor...but its only one factor.
It doesn't imply automatic victory. And -- as I've already amply demonstrated -- history gives many lessons to the contrary.

"In fact, he calls it a "peripheral campaign," or words to that effect!"

A peripheral campaign is not a diversion. And the second book specifically disputes the "diversion" thesis at great length.

So where is this "consensus view" that all historians regard the campaign as nothing but a diversion?

"Then why bring it up?"

Err, perhaps because you had reputedly written a book on the subject (according to Amazon, at least) would be an integral part of the discussion? Is that really not obvious?

" When they were reclassed as CVEs, there should be no doubt"

I think we've said what we need to here. You've long since said they weren't "true" carriers, and I've long since said that in a strictly pedantic interpretation of classing anything that can hold aircraft as an "aircraft carrier", they qualify, and that I cede the point on this basis. What exactly are you trying to accomplish from further debate? For me to genuflect a few times, beating my breast and crying mea culpa?


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/6/2010 4:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What exactly are you trying to accomplish from further debate? For me to genuflect a few times, beating my breast and crying mea culpa?


Would you do that?

I mean, no offense or anything (I do actually like and respect your opinion on a variety of subjects), but discussing this with you is like pulling teeth. If nothing else, Steele and I can say we got you to go from this:

quote:
And the only reason we won the war in the Pacific is because Japan didn't catch our carriers at Pearl Harbor.


to this

quote:
Had the Japanese caught our carriers at Pearl Harbor, the war would have gone on considerably longer, and changed enough other variables that no one can say with certainty what exactly would have happened. I find it unlikely that this alone would have resulted in an Axis victory, but not impossible.


I'd say that's a win, given that you claim to only have been proven wrong twice here.

In any case, substitution history has been fun, ciao.


RE: This just in...
By Steele on 5/6/2010 4:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
there have been numerous cases where the larger economy lost the war.

Yes, there have. Many many times. Non-issue. And I want to strongly suggest you read Kennedy's book. It really is great stuff--this issue aside.

A peripheral campaign is not a diversion.

Not always, but it's also not an "integral part of Japanese strategy." Yes, Shattered Sword maintains that it was not a diversion. I disagree.

Garfield, however, DOES NOT make any such claims.

Err, perhaps because you had reputedly written a book on the subject (according to Amazon, at least) would be an integral part of the discussion? Is that really not obvious?

Evidently not obvious enough. In any case, I have not written such a book--The Capture of Attu was a compilation of field notes and memoirs and anecdotes and such from soldiers, sailors and airmen who were involved in the campaign; first published in 1946, I believe. My contributions were in a reprint for a magazine in the mid-80s.

I think we've said what we need to here.

Agreed.

For me to genuflect a few times, beating my breast and crying mea culpa?

Yes, definitely. ;) Seriously, no, not particularly. I have a tendency to get rolled into debates that veer far from their original purpose. Like this one.

For what it's worth, not only has this been somewhat interesting (especially Steve's comments), it's also somewhat amusing since I believe our opinions on the original point are right in line--the US needs aircraft carriers.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/6/2010 5:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Not always, but it's also not an "integral part of Japanese strategy." Yes, Shattered Sword maintains that it was not a diversion. I disagree."

FWIW, I also don't agree it was "integral" to their campaign. But I likewise don't believe it was merely a diversion. A base there put them within striking distance of the Canadian and US West Coasts, controlled Pacific Great Circle Routes, and took control of what was, at the time, the closest US-controlled points to mainland Japan.

"Yes, definitely."

Consider the self-flagellation done, then. My initial statement that the destruction of the carriers would have inevitably led to a Pacific defeat was overly bombastic. After the gracious manner in which you conceded the strategic value of Alaska, and that economic size alone does not grant military victory, I can hardly fail to do likewise.

Seriously, I've enjoyed the debate, and I will make an effort to check out the Kennedy book.


RE: This just in...
By tookablighty on 5/5/2010 9:16:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Britain is unlikely to have "quickly folded."
As a Brit, I can say that without lend lease, we would have gone under at some point. Maybe not within a year but it would have happened eventually.


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/5/2010 9:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The escorts weren't counted as all, as they were too small to fit the definition -- again, as has already been said.


Too small to fit your definition of a carrier, not mine, not Steele's, not the US Navy's... But of course, porkpie is the decider in this matter, so I might as well yield.

quote:
The vast majority of those aircraft were trainers, useless in combat...


But it made sure we had trained replacements for our losses in combat. Yet another of Japan's problems...

quote:
Had the US been forced to devote the bulk of its production to fending off the Japanese, Britain would have quickly folded.


Ahh but even with all the carriers lost at Pearl, the US wouldn't have been forced to devote the majority of its effort to Japan. That's why production numbers are fun to look at. Heck, even with the shipbuilding and aircraft historically devoted to the Pacific front, the Japanese had less than 2 years before US forces reached parity in carriers and surpassed them. Further, because of simple logistics, the Japanese were in no position to seriously threaten American shipyards and industry. Heck, at its zenith in 1942, the IJN was in no position to attack Pearl Harbor again, which is why Yamamoto devised the plan to lure the US fleet to Midway.


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/5/2010 10:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
Just one last jab about the escort carriers not being "real" carriers: it would seem Admiral Kurita thought they were real enough at Samar.


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/5/2010 2:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's as likely that Japan, having overwhelming superiority in the Pacific, would have been able to bombard the West Coast


The Japanese simply didn't have the logistical capability to mount any sort of credible offensive on the US West Coast at the time immediately after Pearl Harbor. Moreover, US shipyards and aircraft factories were very quickly making good on the losses suffered. In 1942, the US had produced in excess of 45000 aircraft, more than Japan had produced in the period between 1939-1942 by a factor of two. In 1943, the US produced in excess of 85000 aircraft, more than Japan produced in the period between 1939-1945. Regardless of any victories they could get, it would have all been short term at best, a fact that Admiral Yamamoto himself was not blind to: "In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success."

quote:
possibly even collaborating with Germany to fully blockade the US and destroy our naval shipbuilding yards.


The Germans couldn't do much there. There was still the small matter of the Atlantic fleet, not to mention all the little ASW craft the US had running around patrolling the East Coast for u-boats.


RE: This just in...
By Calin on 5/5/2010 2:20:15 AM , Rating: 2
USA had a production capacity 10 to 20 times larger than Japan in "common" strategic material (steel, ...), and up to 100 in some "specialty" areas (this is just to put things in reference).
Even with the loss of Hawai, USA could have threaten Japan economy with submarine warfare against cargo ships (which run most of the war unescorted). American submarines were three times as big (for a similar fighting capability) mostly due to the great range needed in Pacific.


RE: This just in...
By lyeoh on 5/7/2010 3:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Had we had even more carriers, we could have ended the war much sooner, and saved tens of millions of lives. Thank you for proving my point.


And if the US had nukes earlier, they would have ended the war much sooner.

Go ahead, spend billions on carriers. Other countries can just spend millions on missiles etc that can take out your carriers. Yes I am well aware of antimissile stuff, but good luck getting them to work 100% especially when you have friendly planes flying close around the carrier.

Carriers are rather expensive tools for bullying much weaker countries.


RE: This just in...
By ducatti20 on 5/5/2010 1:15:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Funny; could have sworn the US took over the entire Pacific with only a handful of large carriers back in WWII (rarely more then 5-6 at any one time).


Actually...
During the war twenty-two U.S. Navy fleet carriers (CVs) and nine small aircaft carriers (CVLs) served in World War II. Eight ships were built before the war started and the rest were built during the war.

http://ehistory.osu.edu/wwii/USNCV.cfm


RE: This just in...
By RedRoss on 5/5/2010 11:15:09 AM , Rating: 3
Great comment. Everybody wants tons of military stuff, so their EGO's could feel more fuzzy and warm. Ok, let's do it, but first we'll cut back on social security and increase taxes. Oh!! <claps hands> then the whole USA can see the beautiful new ships floating everywhere (while watching News about becoming 10, 11, 12, 13 etc. country in the world by relative economic strength). Poor, but armed.

I am amazed by the stupidity of the human race. Instead of focusing on research (the same Orion Project) we are discussing how to PROTECT OUR SELVES from THEM ?? Whose them ??? I see no other enemy except highly advanced bad tempered aliens..
Science can make a heaven on earth for some decades now, but it's not politically convenient for some.

Ashamed of the human race... :/


RE: This just in...
By bigdawg1988 on 5/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 2:14:18 PM , Rating: 5
"if China or someone else launches about a hundred anti-ship missiles at your big-a** carriers and sink them, what do you do then?"

We use our air superiority, as well as the anti-missile defense on the ships themselves to shoot down those missiles before they reach the carriers.

"Can't we fly out of Japan or Taiwan or Guam or elsewhere "

Hello, and welcome to Earth. Guam is over 1500 miles from Taiwan. Japan is 500 miles away, but that distance dramatically reduces time on station for a fighter...plus its hardly a certainty we'll maintain our bases in Okinawa over the next 20 years. And staging from Taiwan itself presupposes it hasn't already been overrun by the PLA.

Furthermore, that is just one of the many dozens of potential flash points in the world. What do you do when the theatre of engagement is too far from any of your bases? (and before you mindlessly toss out "in air refueling", think of exactly what that means).


RE: This just in...
By bigdawg1988 on 5/4/2010 4:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
So exactly what do you plan on bombing the Chinese forces with, F18s?
I think a 1500 mile flight from Guam would be a short jog for a B2 or a B52. 500 miles would fit the combat radius on an F22 or just about any other aircraft just fine. And don't think the navy can hold off the chinese hordes by themselves for very long. That fight will require land-based aircraft be involved quickly. PLA would have a hard time overrunning Taiwan even with a million soldiers. I'm pretty sure our subs could turn the China sea into the world's largest man made reef. on the other hand, that could be bad, they'd just run across the sunken ships. /jk

And I didn't say get rid of carriers, just reduce the number. Other than China or Russia, there really isn't another power that would necessarily require a full carrier group. That was Gates' point, that you don't have to bring a full carrier group every time somebody makes noise. He just wants the navy to work at maximizing their resources (money!).


RE: This just in...
By Solandri on 5/5/2010 1:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
Not gonna comment on the rest of the thread - my history is not up to par.

But shortening your mission distance increases the number of missions you can fly with the same number of aircraft. If you're 500 miles from a target, each aircraft can probably fly 2-3 missions a day. If you're 1500 miles, each aircraft is pretty much limited to 1 mission a day. So to yield the same combat capability, your 1500 mile force now needs 2-3x as many aircraft as the 500 mile force.

Putting aside the argument about whether the U.S. should be projecting power, if you are going to be projecting power, the carriers are probably the best way to do it.


RE: This just in...
By thurston on 5/4/2010 8:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
Amazing. In the last few days you have managed to convinced me that nuclear missiles and oil slicks are not really that big a deal.


RE: This just in...
By stromgald30 on 5/4/2010 12:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
Carrier groups actually aren't built for large conventional wars. The whole concept of a carrier group in the modern sense is surgical, directed strikes. This can be for small countries (NK, Iran, etc), or humanitarian aid. You could develop ships that are more suited for each of those roles, but the carrier provides the versatility with the minimum number of ships and cost.

They may have 85-90 aircraft, but I'm sure at least 15-20 of those are support aircraft. Everything from tankers and ASW planes to AWACs and Electronic warfare planes. You really only get ~65 fighters and ground attack aircraft.

Instead of saying that they need to be cut and 11 are too many, think about what you need them to do.

In a major conflict, it is good to have two carriers so that not all your eggs are in one basket if one carrier group is waylaid or ensnared somehow. If you want to be able to support two major conflicts, which the US tries to maintain, you're looking at 4 carriers. With the ~50% downtime porkpie mentioned, your total then jumps to 8 carriers. Any reasonable strategist would want maybe one or two in addition to that for unforseen circumstances, and you're up to 9-10, which isn't all that far from 11.


RE: This just in...
By JediJeb on 5/4/2010 5:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
Also remember that with the complexity of carriers today, they are not built as quickly as those from the WW2 era were. If we were to lose two carriers in a conflict we would be down those two carriers for a few years most likely.


RE: This just in...
By Calin on 5/5/2010 2:42:51 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that a carrier group with two carriers would be much more powerful in both offense and (especially) defense against those 100 cruise missiles.


RE: This just in...
By ianweck on 5/4/2010 3:51:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now realize that the U.S. has 11 of these things, and that the second largest number of aircraft carriers owned by one nation is the U.K.


Exactly the way I like it.


RE: This just in...
By jonmcc33 on 5/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 1:54:36 PM , Rating: 3
How do you spend money to "make peace"? Giving wheelbarrels of money to foreign nations has never worked in the past...why should it magically start now?


RE: This just in...
By jonmcc33 on 5/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: This just in...
By thurston on 5/4/2010 8:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why point out China as some sort of threat?


No kidding, like they're going to attack their biggest customer.


RE: This just in...
By Ammohunt on 5/4/2010 2:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
Great idea! WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG! <sob> You can't be serious.


RE: This just in...
By jonmcc33 on 5/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: This just in...
By TerranMagistrate on 5/4/2010 2:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
We are spending billions of dollars with the goal of making peace. That's why we're carrying a bigger stick than everyone else.


RE: This just in...
By superPC on 5/4/2010 8:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
Most people think the money spends on F-22 is just too much and axed the program. Now look at the shining new Sukhoi PAK FA and (soon) the upcoming J-XX from China (still no word on J-XX though). There's your reason of building the F-22.

Seriously, considering cutting back when China is considering building carrier battle group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Chinese_aircra... (they've bought some old carrier from Russia to be studied)? while China are build nuclear subs right now? Not to mention Russia who is also considering rebuilding their sea armada.

The US might have 11 carrier battle group now, but 20 years from now Russia and China might have 15 carrier battle group combined. Like the US has nearly 200 F-22 right now but India and Russia might have 500 PAK FA in 10 years and any country can buy a PAK FA for only aroun 100 million $.

Please let's not make another PAK FA mistakes.


RE: This just in...
By TerranMagistrate on 5/4/2010 9:01:04 AM , Rating: 3
But all those serious potential threats don't matter to the current Administration since their only objective in regards to the U.S. military is to cut back, reduce and to weaken, all under the guise of "modernization".

It's consistent with their foreign policy too, prostrating before our enemies while snubbing our allies.


RE: This just in...
By superPC on 5/4/2010 9:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
Sad but true. Future statesman (and woman) will have to work hard to reverse the mistake this administration had done in defense spending. if the US loose any of the carrier battle group we can all say bye bye to the notion of US still being a super power in 2020. with multiple country having armadas of nuclear carrier at that time and more than 1000 PAK FA in the air it would make 187 F-22 the US have a minor nuisance to China, India, and Russia.


RE: This just in...
By mcnabney on 5/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: This just in...
By superPC on 5/4/2010 12:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
When everyone is super no one is. If the rest of the world catch up to US there would be no super power left. I don't know about you, but when that happened, I'd be sad. Kind of like when the UK realize the US has more power than they do.


RE: This just in...
By whiskerwill on 5/4/2010 12:19:04 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
" Guess what, our nation HAS to cut back."
I agree. Let's start by cutting back some of the social programs that do nothing for us but encourage people to not work and be productive. We spend 3 times as much on social programs as we do on defense. If you want to cut back, start there.


RE: This just in...
By stromgald30 on 5/4/2010 12:25:31 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly. Nobody's arguing for bigger government here. It's where government is being cut that matters.


RE: This just in...
By juserbogus on 5/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: This just in...
By sigilscience on 5/4/2010 2:01:05 PM , Rating: 4
His numbers aren't wrong. Our budget is now close to 4 trillion dollars. We spend a little more than half a trillion on defense. Social security is "technically" funded out of a different pot, but the politicos draw from that pot to fund other programs all the time.


RE: This just in...
By juserbogus on 5/5/2010 8:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
actually it 3.5 trillion... in any case, nice straw man.... since SS, medicare/caid are a different pot (even technically) those are not programs you can cut to balance the budget. defense comes out of the discretionary part of the budget which is 1.36 trillion for fy10 and defense is 663 billion of that.... so I ask again, what exactly are you going to cut?

and again... you cannot balance the budget by cutting ss,medicare/caid since those are NOT funded by the "US income tax". those are funded by their own tax for their own payout.



RE: This just in...
By ipay on 5/4/2010 12:25:28 PM , Rating: 5
Stop the USA being a welfare state and I can guarantee said debt will disappear in a decade.


RE: This just in...
By YashBudini on 5/5/2010 5:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
Fat chance. The percentage of corporate welfare will simply become 100%.


RE: This just in...
By hathost on 5/4/2010 12:54:22 PM , Rating: 4
Look the deficit is being caused by overspending, mostly on entitlement and welfare programs. Obama increased spending by 1.5 trillion dollars his first year in office and the cbo is estimating 1 trillion dollar deficits for at least the next decade. Even if the economy does grow it's not going to keep pace with spending. We have a 14 trillion dollar economy and as the fed's and state governments eat into it more and more and give out incredibly generous retirement and medical benefits as well as welfare and SSI and Medicare spending we're gonna be sunk by the end of the decade. You can't say that we NEED the extra 1.5 trillion that the feds have spent. We would have been better off if the fed's had cut spending reduced taxes more and cut welfare payments to low income people. I'm sorry but for the last 50 years the left has been giving handouts to the poor and honestly can you really say that it works? No! No one can say it works we're just supposed to feel good about making an effort, well you know what the effort was a wasted one lets try it the old school way. You want to eat? Work, work, and work some more. You don't like being poor? Get some skills that move you into a better position. You just want to sit around and complain because you didn't get a handout? TOO BAD!


RE: This just in...
By Mathos on 5/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: This just in...
By sigilscience on 5/4/2010 2:04:53 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
As a person that spent the vast majority of the Bush administration unable to find work, not from lack of effort
If it wasn't lack of effort, then it was because you weren't qualified enough for the jobs you were applying for, and you didn't want to work in a field that you WERE qualified for. I know the truth may be painful but admitting it is better than whining.

quote:
The area I lived in had a vastly over saturated job market,
So why the hell didn't you move?

God $#@! immature whining crybabies make me sick. Why the hell should I have to pay your bills because you refuse to move to a better job market, and you're too lazy to take a fry cook job in the meantime? Grow a little backbone and act like a man, instead of a bum with your begging hand out.


RE: This just in...
By Ammohunt on 5/4/2010 2:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It doesn't matter who you give the handouts too or tax breaks to, it's a waste either way. That could be seen from the Republicans little trickle down economics games. Give tax breaks to the rich and corporations and it'll trickle down the the lower class workers.... not. It'll trickle right into their bonus's and Swiss bank accounts.


Your ignorance of basic economics is obvious.

Trickle down economics worked and worked well rememebr the boom under the Clinton years that he took credit for? thank the policies of Reagan starting 12 years prior. Remember the bust of 2001? thank Clinton for that.


RE: This just in...
By beachbum68 on 5/4/2010 5:55:12 PM , Rating: 2
Finally!!! Someone with an ounce of common-sense.
This is exactly what I've been saying for years!
Everyone derides trickle-down and claims the recovery was all Clin-ton's doing.
What a bunch of bull!

Every time you progressives get into office, I hear the sound of my wallet getting vacuumed; Tax and Spend, repeat ad nauseum. How come you guys are sooooo much smarter than the rest of us and yet can't come up with any solution that doesn't require that you take my money?
Don't get me wrong, lately it's unrestrained spending on both sides (Republican & Democrat) that got us into this mess, but unless the liberal fantasy of world peace becomes a reality, you NEVER cut back on your defense spending.

The government's only legitimate job is to provide for my defense (by spending my tax dollars in the most efficient manner possible.) It is NEVER the government's job to take my hard-earned money and give it to people too lazy and/or too stupid to work.

I see (and have dealt with) too many people who feel that the government "OWES" them a place to live, "OWES" them money to live on, "OWES" them a job.
It's not FREE, I'm paying for that #$%&!!!
Since when did this become acceptable (or desirable) behavior?
Have you absolutely no self-respect?


RE: This just in...
By bigdawg1988 on 5/4/2010 7:36:21 PM , Rating: 3
Did you forget that the boom of the Clinton years was proceeded by the best of the Bush years and then followed by the bust boom bust of the other Bush. Of course, neither had anything to do with the Presidents, nor the trickle-down politics. It was speculation in the markets (remember savings and loans, dollar trading, internet and housing bubbles).
Reaganomics (or Voodoo economics if you prefer) benefitted those at the top while doing little for the rest. Wages have stagnated for the middle class the last twenty years.

And to clown someone who is unemployed is pretty low. maybe he worked at a place like Enron and lost his job due to some other idiots' mistakes. Even a fry cook job can be hard to come by, unless you lie about having no education. Why hire you when you might leave for something better? And believe me, those managers are intimidated by someone who may know more than they do and they may not hire you because they're afraid you might take their place.
I hope you guys never lose your jobs and have to go looking for awhile. It sucks out there.
Hope you guys (that want to work) find jobs.


RE: This just in...
By bigdawg1988 on 5/4/2010 7:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, was proceeded by the best of the Bush years should have been was proceeded by the bust of the Bush years


RE: This just in...
By Ammohunt on 5/6/2010 2:37:00 PM , Rating: 2
First thing bush did was cut tax rates that took effect at the start of his second term when magically the economy picked up! then Bush proceeded to start digging by over spending creating the DHS,TSA not to mention paying for two wars at the same time the Democrats Freddy and Fannie house for everyone scheme finally caught up with us towards the end of the bush term causing bailouts and other ugliness. So what does Obama and the Democrats do? Borrow like its not their money and spend us into oblivion when they should have de-regulated and cut taxes on the people that actually employ others you know rich folks? evil corporations? Currently we are on the path to become Greece in 10-20 years one big Socialist utopian love fest.


RE: This just in...
By bigdawg1988 on 5/4/2010 2:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
any country can buy a PAK FA for only aroun 100 million $.

You make it sound like everybody has $100mil to spend on ONE aircraft. I think you need more than one to provide an effective defense.
Only a few countries can afford to buy these things. Most will stick to cheaper aircraft. Who the heck is going to buy 500? Total market will only be 1000 (Sukhoi director Mikhail Pogosyan has projected a market for 1000 aircraft over the next four decades per Wiki)of which Russia and India will have 400 of them. They are mainly fighter (defensive) aircraft, they aren't long-range bombers (offensive). A problem? Potentially, but not so much that we have to have something right now. We could have waited a few years, done more research and development and come up with an even better aircraft than the F-22. Although the F35 delays are troubling.

And I don't know if Russia and China are ready to buy 15 carriers in the next 20 years. That's a WHOLE lot of money. Spending like that can't be done secretly. And if they do then I'll be one of the first to vote to raise my own darn taxes so we can build more carriers ourselves. No point in us having "extra" carriers for just in case. We can mothball several of them and have them ready before anybody else can have one built. Although I'm not sure how you'd mothball a carrier with nuclear reactors aboard. Maybe hook it up to the power grid and use it as a powerplant? Didn't they talk about doing that during the blackouts?


RE: This just in...
By Calin on 5/5/2010 2:47:24 AM , Rating: 2
PAK-FA might not be built - however, on paper right now it does have the capabilities to equal or better the F-35 (longer range, more missiles, very high maneuvrability, able to outrun and outturn missiles). It isn't a F-22 killer, but it might be enough to interdict air space to the F-22


RE: This just in...
By eddieroolz on 5/5/2010 7:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
The thing that scares me the most about Chinese naval buildup is the future status of Japan. As a Japanese, I definitely don't want my country to become overrun by China.

But from the 90's, China has been violating the 200 nautical mile convention repeatedly - passing Japanese waters off the Okinawa islands via submarine, conducting mapping and research operations.

If China was to build an aircraft carrier, it would require direct access to the open sea. China is blocked direct access to the Pacific by Japan. To fight for access, it becomes a possibility that China will demand unreasonable terms, or worse, attack Japan. Now, as Japan has a severely-castrated naval force, it can't possibly present much of a resistance.

Though not publicly known, China has strongly insisted on an independent Okinawa before. That way, it can turn its former vassal state into its ally, granting itself passage to the Pacific.

I don't want to see my country be torn apart because of Chinese influence and severe restraint on the JSDF. But it seems very likely that this will happen in the next few decades.

/personal opinion.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 9:54:46 AM , Rating: 2
"...especially since most of the work is done by destroyers/light crusiers these days anyways."

By "these days", you mean when we're not in a war with a large, dangerous opponent?

That's rather like cancelling your fire insurance because you haven't had a fire in the last ten years.


RE: This just in...
By mcnabney on 5/4/2010 11:47:39 AM , Rating: 1
Our submarine fleet can sink the combined Russian and Chinese navies before lunch.

Also, someone previously mentioned the F22 and airpower. Read-up on the new laser-based weapons moving into production. We have nothing to fear from our adversaries airplanes. We still need planes to drop munitions, hence the F35. But no, the age of air-to-air combat will be over in 2020. We will actually be able to clear the sky in less than a minute.


RE: This just in...
By stromgald30 on 5/4/2010 12:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
Um . . . that's not a reason to drop the F22 in favor of the F35. If anything, it supports making more F22s and less F35s. The F22 has ground attack capability as well, in addition to longer range, better maneuverability, and everything else to help make sure it delivers its payload.

Lasers also have to be based somewhere, whether on land, a large plane, or a ship. They also have limited range. How do you expect to get the lasers to get to the battlefield without ships or large planes like in the ABL program?


RE: This just in...
By Calin on 5/5/2010 2:51:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Our submarine fleet can sink the combined Russian and Chinese navies before lunch.


Tell that to the Chinese sub that surfaced inside a US carrier battle group:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-492804/The...


RE: This just in...
By bigdawg1988 on 5/5/2010 12:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
DAMN! I guess that's why Gates is asking them to look at things other than carriers. Wonder why THAT wasn't front page news all over the U.S.? That's some seriously scary shit.
Don't they use active sonar buoys to catch subs like this? Sheesh, sort of kills the whole carrier battle group argument. If a chinese sub could do this during an exercise, wonder what it could do during a real battle?
So, how many heads rolled over this?


RE: This just in...
By invidious on 5/4/2010 11:56:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nevermind that none of our enemys tend to have large standing navies (China has almost no Navy, and Russia focuses mainly on submarine warfare, with few modern surface ships).
Yes, this is why we have the military advantage over them. And we should relinguish this why exactly? To allow more funding for excessive and unnecisary social reform? I think not.


RE: This just in...
By marvdmartian on 5/4/2010 12:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps it's simply that you're seeing more news these days about frigates/destroyers/cruisers?? Like the news whenever the idiot pirates off of Somalia mistakenly attack one of the small navy ships we have there?

Check your facts. After 9-11, the navy flew the first flights over Afghanistan, from one of the aircraft carriers that was stationed in the region. Long before the air force had planes in the area.

The navy typically has one carrier on patrol in the western Pacific/Indian Ocean region, and a couple more on "hot standby" that can show up in a reasonably short period of time. They also have one that's typically just returned from deployment (and is going through a pierside maintenance period), and one in dry dock, going through a major overhaul. That's on each coast, plus one in Japan.

Believe me, there's nothing more unsettling to the governments of places like North Korea, Iran or Cuba, than knowing that within a matter of days, we can have a carrier parked off their coast, with 40-50 attack ready planes armed to the teeth, to enforce a little bit of "behind the wood shed" diplomacy.

The air force is all glitz & glamor with their fancy toys, but the bottom line is that it takes them longer to get there, and they still need a place to land once they're on station. The navy brings it's own landing strip along.


RE: This just in...
By bigdawg1988 on 5/4/2010 6:13:37 PM , Rating: 2
I agree we need carriers, but the examples you cite don't back up your point. By 911 we already had a couple of air force bases in the gulf, I guess it was just the navy's turn. Last I checked, Florida and South Georgia are pretty close to Cuba. And North Korea is probably more afraid of the South Koreans and US air base 48 miles south than they are of some carrier group based a few hundred miles off shore.
That being said, what would be the harm in mothballing a few carriers until the situation arose? It's not like China or Russia (the likeliest enemies) could build and man a carrier faster than we can recommission one. And we can use some of the money we'd spend there on other defense spending.

Honestly, I don't think the Chinese give a damn about fighting it out with us militarily. I think they believe they can wear us down and beat us economically; sort of like we did to the USSR. I think their leaders took a long look at what happened and adjusted. Their leaders aren't beholden to the people like ours are. They can run roughshod over them to do pretty much what they want. This allows them to grow faster than we do with less cost since they don't have to worry about pesky things like the environment, health and safety, or human rights. And with three times as many people that's one heck of a market to play with once they get things together. I'm a heck of lot more afraid of their economic/political prowess than I am of their military.


RE: This just in...
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 10:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
"And we can use some of the money we'd spend there on other defense spending."

That's just the point. This isn't about reallocating funds. Gates is floating this balloon for his boss, Obama. If it doesn't draw too much fire, it'll be followed by hard proposals for widespread budget cuts...said money to be used for more social spending, rather than reallocation into other defense areas.

Personally, once Iraq and Afghanistan have wound down a bit and (assuming nothing else rears its head) I wouldn't have a problem with mothballing a couple carriers. But recommissioning one really isn't that much faster than building one from scratch, believe it or not.


RE: This just in...
By Calin on 5/5/2010 2:54:50 AM , Rating: 2
Because taking a carrier out of mothballs means (above all the work needed to bring it to readiness) you need to find and train/retrain all its 1000 crew (in a time when navies around the world use fewer and fewer sailors to crew bigger and bigger ships).


RE: This just in...
By Ammohunt on 5/4/2010 1:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly they have to pay for Healthcare and payback China somehow ehy not just cripple our Navy! General Gates needs to read up on Task Force Smith and the Battle of Osan!


RE: This just in...
By AssBall on 5/4/2010 8:32:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah. I think we should have cheap, crappy naval ships instead. Maybe dingy with a guy and a snubnose .357?


RE: This just in...
By Steve1981 on 5/4/2010 9:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
Those 357s are getting pretty expensive these days. How about a Red Ryder BB gun?


RE: This just in...
By Quadrillity on 5/4/2010 9:48:59 AM , Rating: 4
Nope. They'll shoot their eye out.


Carriers
By mattclary on 5/4/2010 8:14:35 AM , Rating: 5
I'm no tactician, nor have I been in the Navy, but I was in the Air Force. The advantage I see of carriers is you have a portable airport. It's not really about naval combat with carriers, it's about parking a shitload of airplanes off the enemy's coast.




RE: Carriers
By mattclary on 5/4/2010 8:15:43 AM , Rating: 3
lol. should have spelled that "sh1tload" so I wouldn't get an automatic point debit by the nanny software.


RE: Carriers
By iFan on 5/4/2010 8:26:14 AM , Rating: 2
In addition, a big Navy with aircraft carriers says to your enemy "Sure, attack us if you want but the fight won't be here... it will be in your backyard... so go ahead!"

Feel free to insert the obligatory "punk" at the end :)


RE: Carriers
By Spivonious on 5/4/2010 9:43:37 AM , Rating: 2
I agree about carriers, but the other ships are pretty worthless in this age of tactical bombings and drones. I mean, most of the navy ships were designed in WW2.


RE: Carriers
By whiskerwill on 5/4/2010 10:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
So you believe we don't need nuclear subs anymore?

/rolleyes


RE: Carriers
By Spivonious on 5/4/2010 3:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
I think they became obsolete as soon as the Cold War ended. Wars of today and the future are not going to be fought with the weapons of yesterday.


RE: Carriers
By hathost on 5/4/2010 1:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
The whole point of those other ships are to protect the carriers since other than their aircraft and minimal anti-aircraft weapons they are defenseless. From what I understand a carrier battle group consists of the carrier and several smaller defense ships such as destroyers and picket ships as well as submarines to repel any conventional attacks that may occur.

CSG or CVBG normally consist of 1 Aircraft Carrier, 2 Guided Missile Cruisers, 2 Anti Aircraft Warships,and 1-2 Anti Submarine Destroyers or Frigates.

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=39...

Further many other ships are used for various peace keeping and patrol missions. Considering our role as the worlds police force and the detterent we represent to other world powers I believe the money we put towards defense to be well invested. It's much preferable to having another world war break out because we decided to stay home and not take action like with WW1 and WW2 where we were dragged into them. Europe has shown itself to not be very responsible historically as has Japan and the power we project has a calming and stabalizing influence across the globe. I would like to take a more interventionist role in some places to help out against genocides rather than waste our dollars on letting people sit at home collecting a paycheck while doing nothing to earn it. Honestly you have to be both dumb and fully paralysed not to be able to earn an income in the US. You could be one or the other and still be productive.


RE: Carriers
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 9:49:26 AM , Rating: 4
" The advantage I see of carriers is you have a portable airport."

Three fourth's of the globe is ocean. With a carrier-based navy, you can project power anywhere on the planet. This explains why nearly every nation that can afford carriers, has them -- 9 of the 12 richest nations in the world operate carriers, and one of the 3 who doesn't (China) is currently building one.


Correct the article please
By porkpie on 5/4/2010 9:52:25 AM , Rating: 3
You don't introduce a person by surname alone in an article; nowhere do you identify "Gates" as being (I assume) Defense Secretary Robert Gates.




RE: Correct the article please
By NARC4457 on 5/4/2010 11:10:00 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, that was striking to me as well


RE: Correct the article please
By ipay on 5/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Correct the article please
By bhieb on 5/4/2010 12:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
I was about to post the same thing. No where is this person defined as anyone other than Gates, and he.


What about the Nukes?
By Kurz on 5/4/2010 10:34:23 AM , Rating: 2
There is an excellent way to prevent all needless wars.
Raise the threat of using Nukes and its the ultimate peace maker.

While the government is disarming our stockpile other countries are expanding theirs and increasing technological might in the area of Making of war.




Price of freedom...
By tallcool1 on 5/4/2010 1:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.
-John F. Kennedy




Easily fixed
By bug77 on 5/4/2010 3:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
If the issue really is "the need for expensive ships", the solutions already exists and has been tested before: make them in China.




How did that happen?
By YashBudini on 5/5/2010 5:14:00 PM , Rating: 1
You mean Dick Draft Dodger Cheney missed an opportunity for more military spending? Oh the shame of it all.

Some would ask why instead of sending a ship we can't just just one of those 5,100 nukes. I'm mean really, they certainly put us in a great position to ask others not to get any nukes, don't they? (DUH!)

Since 9/11 playing the fear card has never worked so well. Bin Laden started America's collapse, but the military is hell bent on finishing it. All that's left is giving Sarah Palin the nuclear codes.




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