15-Carrier U.S. Navy

Admiral Carlisle Trost, chief of naval operations, expectedly takes a very narrow view of our national security and what will achieve it in his column (“Global Role Demands a 15-Carrier Navy,” Op-Ed Page, March 16). He asserts, without support, that “our economic survival is dependent upon the seas,” that “the Soviet threat has not abated,” and that “U.S. commitments will not decline.”

In the past, these assertions were rarely challenged because there was a consensus that we were seriously threatened by the Soviets, while at the same time we were meeting most of our domestic needs. Today, however, it is clear that the Soviets have taken concrete steps to lessen our concerns, such as by leaving Afghanistan, Admiral Trost’s assertion to the contrary notwithstanding.

In addition, we are not meeting our domestic needs. For example, because of inadequate government support only one in six poverty-level children can now participate in the Head Start program. And Head Start teachers receive only $12,000 per year, itself barely above the poverty level. This is in spite of the fact that Head Start has been demonstrably one of the best programs we have ever had for braking the generational cycle of poverty.

It is clear that we need to take a broader view of national security than we have in the past; today our security depends more on strengthening our economy and meeting human needs than on projecting military force throughout the world.



Santa Monica