The first question that national security types, including the president, supposedly ask in an international crisis is, “Where are the carriers?” Soon, that opening line will be rephrased to something like, “Where are the … oh, never mind.”
It seems, as Kristina Wong of the Hill is reporting, that:
President Obama’s pivot to Asia will lack a crucial military underpinning next year, when for four months, the Navy will not have an aircraft carrier in the region. Defense cuts have helped shrink the number of available carriers, alarming GOP lawmakers who are fighting the Pentagon’s plan to permanently cut the number of U.S. carriers to 10.
Nothing projects power like a warship and there is no warship like an American aircraft carrier. The far Pacific is the world’s new hotspot, and the U.S. Navy will have no aircraft carrier in the region for 1/3 rd of the year. This is supposedly a temporary gap which will be filled once a carrier currently in the fleet has been refueled and refitted. In Washington, things that are temporary tend to stick around. And the crux of the problem is budgetary. The Navy is cutting back on the carriers to meet the requirements of the sequester.
The world’s only superpower?
How much longer?