Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
... its not my area, and just because I can't see a rationale does not mean the rationale does not exist. Hence posing the question. Posing it a little provocatively, well, it does seem to get people talking.

As the US loses the capacity to project force on a global basis over the next two decades, the question of how Europe should comport itself as in independent power will emerge as a policy question that cannot be ducked, and that then ties in with the question of the shape of strategic threats that Europe faces in the tumultuous thirty years ahead.

So, yes, I was trying to push for an expression of a rationale beyond, "let's build the biggest ship we can, using US pressures for what they would like to see for leverage" ... because that's all I can see, and I don't know if I'm missing something.

Its obviously not a rationale for the acquisition, but one thing about the amphibious assault ships is that they could indeed be provided with a complement of fast hydrofoil patrol boats, which would seem to make for a better match to the strategic threats ahead than an amphibious assault force. So while the military might have to be dragged kicking and screaming, maybe there's a retrofit there that can make it less of a waste of resources.

But the big carriers ... the expression from the 90's of "why they are needed" reads like officialspeak for "the stuff we got isn't great for trying to stand offshore and blow shit up". I can't see any reason to have them other than trying to sink somebody else's ships, or for trying to stand offshore somewhere and send sorties in to try to blow shit up.

And of course a heavy carrier is a hole in the water that you pour aviation fuel into when you want it to be replaced by hot air. If pressed into service in secondary roles, its far from the most energy efficient way to serve those roles.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Oct 16th, 2008 at 09:19:03 AM EST
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