Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Carrier in parallel universes

There are those who study history and watch the present to look for the best path in to the future.

There are those who are willfully ignorant of history, are not interested in the greater world around them, and instead like to focus on their own ideology and pedantic habits.

In the late '70s the UK got rid of its strike carrier capability and just barely survived with their CVS and Harriers since ... until recently when the RAF and their easily debunked theories manages to get rid of the Harrier for good and the silly ships that carried them.

DEFENCE Secretary Liam Fox is expected to come under heavy pressure to reverse large parts of the government's strategic defence and security review (SDSR) when he appears before MPs tomorrow.
They will focus in particular on the decision not to have an operational aircraft carrier for most of the next decade and there will be demands to reverse the mothballing of 90 Harrier jets for use in operations in Libya.

Dr Fox is understood to want to bring the Harriers back into service.

The Scotsman last week revealed the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, which is supposed to be turned into a helicopter carrier, has been prepared in its refit at Rosyth in a way that would allow Harriers to fly from it.
Labour Dunfermline and West Fife MP Thomas Docherty said: "I think it is fair to say that we will stick to the subject of Libya, but there are a number of concerns about current operations and the way they are developing that mean much of the session will also look at the SDSR."

He added: "I have made no secret of my concerns over the lack of an aircraft carrier and decision to mothball the Harriers.

"The operations in Libya have underlined how ridiculous that decision is.

"We should have a carrier parked off the North African coast, but instead we are trying to use Italian air bases and are even still flying operations from RAF Marham in Norfolk."

The government has said it will not reverse decisions made in the SDSR, but that it is "being kept under review".
Meanwhile, back on this side of the pond from a table at some Starbucks comes this chewable bit of myopia,
The United States has 11 aircraft carriers in active duty, with two more under construction. Our enemy, the Taliban, doesn't have any ships or planes, or even an official army.
We're pleased that our country's massive — and in some cases wasteful — military spending is getting more scrutiny as budget-cutting battles rage in Washington, D.C.
There are plenty of questionable military expenditures. Aircraft carriers are perhaps the most visible. The flattops have plenty of historic appeal from World War II battles, but they're becoming increasingly obsolete. The U.S. used cruise missiles much more than carrier-based planes to attack Libya recently. The U.S. needs to take a hard look at reducing the number of aircraft carriers. No other country has more than one. China has none, though it has two under construction.
I think I read almost the exact thing, with different numbers of course, some time in the mid-80s in The Nation or The Atlantic magazine. The one with Navy ships that looked like sitting ducks. Cycles.

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