The United States is the only nation that operates a fleet of large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers–eleven in all. They are the signature expression of American military power, and by far the most powerful conventional warfighting system ever conceived. Unfortunately, much of the public never hears the details of why carriers are indispensable in U.S. strategy. If the rationale for today’s carrier fleet were distilled down to five features, they would likely be these: unique warfighting capacity, unique endurance in combat zones, unique survivability compared with any other surface vessel, unique versatility in accomplishing diverse missions, and unique adaptability in responding to future challenges. I have written a piece elaborating on those five themes here.
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