Wednesday, May 23, 2018

I Do Believe I Spit Every Ounce of Beer in My Mouth On My Screen

Our big expensive carriers are vulnerable to increasingly lethal anti-ship weapons. What can be done? Well, the Navy could turn the dial to 11, obviously:

In the case of war, any surface naval vessels including aircraft carriers veering within the range of these [Chinese anti-access/area denial] weapon systems run a huge risk of being sunk. Even with the Aegis missile defense umbrella in place, the targets face the prospect of being overwhelmed with multiple cruise missiles. So how does the U.S. combat this problem that has entrenched itself as a major trade chokepoint? Enter the low yield tactical nuclear option.

When a class of vessels is so vulnerable to enemy action yet so expensive that we can hardly consider losing any that somebody seriously considers the use of nuclear weapons to knock out the anti-ship missile launching sites, I think we have a problem with our class of vessels.

One, the kill chain is long and we have options below the nuclear threshold to combat them.

Two, we may need to accept that because of the threat of plentiful precision weapons combined with good surveillance capabilities, for sea control missions big expensive carriers have no place in our strategy even if they retain a role in power projection missions in the absence of significant anti-ship capabilities. Those are two different missions, recall.

If we need to use nukes to keep super carriers in the fight, we need to reconsider whether carriers belong in the fight.

I guess I should wipe my screen now (and yes, it is after 5:00)--and change my underwear.