We’re spending billions and billions of dollars on warships that could very well be spent in more beneficial ways. In Article 16 we mentioned some unfunded necessities that are being ignored by our lawmakers, so we won’t list them again. But give some thought to this.
We have on active duty the largest and most powerful warships ever built. The sight of just one of our super carriers would take your breath away … and we have at least a dozen still in operation. We also have an undetermined number of missile-launching submarines on station in the world’s oceans, and to be honest, this unseen and undetectable threat is all we’d ever need to guarantee our nation’s security. All else, including our carrier fleet, is window dressing.
Any single one of our capital ships, it is claimed, can unleash more destructive firepower than was seen in all of World War II, but in spite of this fact, and the fact that we outgun all the world’s navies combined, we’re still pouring billions of dollars into newer, more powerful vessels. Some examples:
• Two more, much larger, more powerful and more expensive carriers (CVN 78 and CVN 79) are on the way, and $ 565 million is being set aside for the continued design of an even newer CVN class.
• The first three of 30 Virginia Class nuclear-powered attack submarines have been delivered, and $ 2.4 billion has been set aside for “continued procurement” of the next 27.
• Eight supply vessels of the new (and costly) T-AKE type are being built by NASSCO. (For the same amount of money, this talented shipyard could be building fifty containerships.)
• The new DDX class destroyers, vessels purportedly with firepower exceeding that of Iowa-class battleships, has just received an additional $ 716 million for “advanced procurement”.
• … and then, of course, there’s the small stuff. Auxiliaries, patrol craft, landing craft, etc., etc.
We already have more than 300 vessels in our navy and there is no opposing maritime power. Is this exhausting naval shipbuilding program simply a “make-work” proposition? Is all this money being spent just so that we can keep our remaining shipyards from folding? If that’s the case, there’s a much better way to keep those yards operating, and if our lawmakers gave some serious thought to the matter, all our nation’s needs would be provided for. All of them. Yes. All of them.
First of all, the warships now in commission far exceed our present needs as well as our needs in the foreseeable future. Some moderate training exercises and careful maintenance would guarantee each of these vessels a long, long life. It would make a lot more sense to subsidize the construction of containerships. We’re subsidizing the construction of those warships aren’t we? The big difference is that private parties, not taxpayers, will be paying for containerships. Think of the new shipbuilding facilities that can be subsidized. Think of the new employment opportunities that will be created. Think of the amount of tax money saved, and think of the amount of lives saved when we pursue peaceful rather than warlike endeavors.