Trost’s defense of our need for a “15-carrier Navy” fails to address the most elementary consideration for these multibillion-dollar task forces, their vulnerability to ICBM attack. A point he did make which we can also seriously dispute in today’s world is the ability of the Navy to protect us and insure our survival, let alone our prosperity. The nuclear standoff that has existed between us and the Soviets for the last 30 years is responsible for our survival, and not our 15-carrier Navy.
Now that the battleships are gone all that remains of the traditional fleet for the admirals to man is its carrier task forces and nuclear submarines. With a defense budget that is now helping to bankrupt us, there is little doubt where our limited financial resources should be spent. Nuclear submarines, although they lack the visible deterrence of our carriers, are a far more effective defense than carriers simply because, in addition to their tremendous multiple-warhead missile firing capability, they are much less vulnerable to attack. They give those of us paying for the largest defense budget in our history a weapon capable of surviving a nuclear attack which is also a real deterrent to our enemies.
Satellites and radar track the position of our carrier task forces within a few hundred feet anywhere on the earth. They are prime, highly vulnerable targets for ICBM attack in a nuclear war, and will be vaporized along with our cities. All that will be left are our Trident submarines.
F.X. DE CARLO