The United States Navy has become the most unsettled of all the uniformed services, its role and capability in fulfilling national strategy clouded by controversy. In the past year, President Ford has sent two different shipbuilding requests to the Congress, to which the House and the Senate have added their own distinct and separate versions. Adding to the turmoil have been sharply varying perceptions of the Soviet naval threat. Many observers claim that significantly higher shipbuilding programs are needed due to the numerical and technological advances of the Soviet Navy. Others counter that the United States is more than holding its own in numbers of oceangoing warships, and that technological gains do not help Soviet fleets escape the geographical bottlenecks barring easy access to blue water.

If the extent of the Soviet threat is open to question, so too is the ability of the U.S. Navy to carry out its assigned roles and missions. Only the Navy's role in strategic deterrence, through nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, appears assured and invulnerable. Yet the Navy's primary mission remains sea control, which means the ability to resupply our troops and support our allies. It also means the ability to import critical materials in the event of a protracted conflict. And it is sea control that allows the Navy to carry out its secondary mission, which is projection of power ashore in support of combat operations. For these missions, the current Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral James L. Holloway III, rates the U.S. Navy as only marginally capable of carrying out national strategy "in a majority of situations."1

As these controversies boil, two of the Navy's biggest private shipyards have joined in open revolt against their client. Tenneco's Newport News Shipbuilding Division and Litton Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding Division have tried to stop work on Navy ships, claiming their contracts to be invalid, money-losing propositions. None of this turmoil, however, has had a deleterious effect on the Navy's budget. Already larger than that of any other service, the Navy's share of defense dollars continues to grow annually.

In the center of the controversy over the Navy lies the aircraft carrier, and specifically the large-deck aircraft carrier. All of the arguments over the size, composition, and purposes of tomorrow's Navy eventually return to this ship. Like the battleship before it, the carrier has become the "capital ship" of the fleet-the sun around which budgets and lesser ships orbit.

Today, after more than 30 years of intensive development, the ship in question is a 94,000-ton floating airfield which carries 90 aircraft, 5,300 men, and two nuclear reactors. The first of these supercarriers, the Nimitz, recently joined the Atlantic Fleet. Two more ships of its class are now being built, and the Navy has succeeded, after a most unorthodox budget battle, in convincing Congress to place a down-payment on still another.2

The Navy's leadership has suggested that this fourth new large-deck carrier-designated CVN-71-will be the last of its kind. "Preliminary findings" of a current National Security Council study support this position due to the carrier's prospective vulnerability and high cost. Still, it should be remembered that during congressional debate over each of the last two Nimitz-class carriers, the ship in question has been characterized as the last of its class.

But even as a last increment, the wisdom of this purchase is cast into doubt by the realities of naval warfare today, and more so into the future. And even as a last increment, the financial and opportunity costs are staggering: the new carrier and its complement of aircraft will cost $17.5 billion to purchase and operate over its useful life. There are any number of ways in which these funds could be spent: coincidentally, a recent Library of Congress study concluded that if additional funds of this magnitude were applied to ship construction budgets over the next ten years, the Navy could be built up from 500 to 600 ships.3

The aircraft carrier replaced the battleship as the capital ship of the U.S. Navy during World War II, but only after much controversy and the national trauma over Pearl Harbor. Those hoping to wean the Navy away from the battleship were frustrated by a combination of the forces that make change in naval strategy and shipbuilding such a slow process. Unlike land wars, general wars at sea are infrequent-the last U.S. war at sea was over 30 years ago-and thus the lessons learned become dated. Meanwhile, ship construction budgets and careers tend to be built on the basis of what worked in the past, despite the introduction of new military technology that could completely alter the outcome of any engagement.

World War I saw the introduction of the airplane, and many believed that this new weapon signaled the end for the battleship. Today, the Navy and its capital ship are beset by another generation of critics who claim that once again new weapons have changed the face of naval warfare, and that like the battleship before it, the day of the supercarrier has passed. The historical parallel between the battleship and the carrier is troubling enough to warrant a deeper look.


The date was July 21, 1921. Six "flying crates" under the leadership of General Billy Mitchell headed east over Chesapeake Bay with freshly made bombs. In the waters below, it was easy to distinguish the target-an abandoned battleship-from the flotilla of ships carrying dignitaries and observers.

The battleship had ruled the high seas since the English defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, and it still reigned supreme as the capital ship of all navies during World War I. Each battleship coming down the ways seemed more menacing than the last, with longer range guns and better protective features. The ghost ship on Chesapeake Bay was a good example of the state of the art in terms of size and protection. Displacing 27,000 tons, with a triple hull and 85 watertight compartments, it seemed to many naval experts unsinkable.

But the test was all over in 20 minutes. Dignitaries and naval officers alike were shaken by the force of the bombs which exploded on target. The ship rolled over on its side and sank to the bottom of Chesapeake Bay.

General Billy Mitchell believed in the airplane and wanted the War Department to buy more of them. But this undermined the role of the battleship, suggesting its replacement with the aircraft carrier as the Navy's capital ship. The Navy, therefore, viewed the airplane as a threat rather than an opportunity. It was the Navy Department that drafted strict guidelines for Billy Mitchell's bombing run against the abandoned battleship. Many onlookers thought the rules-such as the stipulation that Mitchell could use only 600-pound bombs-were rigged in favor of the battleship. Characteristically, Mitchell simply disregarded them, using 2,000-pound bombs instead.

Among the dignitaries present were Secretary of War John W. Weeks and General John J. Pershing, the hero of World War I. Hearing the thunderous explosions from the 2,000-pound bombs, Pershing turned to Weeks and said: "What the blazes do you think that was? That didn't come from any 600-pound bombs."

"By God," Weeks reportedly said, "if Mitchell violated orders by taking up anything heavier we'll put him on the carpet! He knows what he's supposed to use. Where would we be if he could sink the Navy?"4

The Weeks-Pershing exchange may well have been apocryphal, but the negative reaction by the Navy brass was real enough. Admiral William S. Benson summed it up best when he reportedly said, "Aviation is just a lot of noise." And another naval officer expressed the official view: "If we substitute bombing planes for our turret guns, we will have a 'backboneless' fleet."5

The battleship was the centerpiece of the Navy, and to suggest displacing it with the aircraft carrier was to go against the conventional wisdom of the 1920s and 1930s.

In the Congress, the Committee on Naval Affairs-the forerunner of the House Armed Services Committee-reviewed the debate over the battleship in February 1921, and a few active-duty and retired Admirals were brave enough to state the case for the airplane. After the testimony of one such witness, the Chairman of the Committee, Thomas S. Butler (R.-Pa.) responded with disbelief:

Admiral, we are building ships to stand the shock of 16-inch shells. . . . In other words we are providing protection for the ship against a 16-inch shell and that shell, perhaps, may be fired from within two miles. Now, you do not mean to tell me that they can drop a bomb out of the air, a bomb with no propulsive force behind it, but which simply comes down of its own weight, that will be as effective as a projectile fired from a 16-inch gun?6

Butler represented the majority opinion of his Committee and the Congress, which sided with the Navy brass. And the Navy's best judgment on the matter was encapsulated in its General Board Report of 1921:

The General Board, having kept in touch with naval progress along all lines, reiterates its belief in the battleships as forming the principal units of the fleet. Without them the United States cannot hope to cope with existing navies.7

This continued to be the prevailing view within the Navy as war clouds once again gathered. In 1938, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William D. Leahy, defended his shipbuilding program with the same themes: "Battleships are the backbone of naval power. . . . A fleet, of which battleships are the main element of strength, is the only certain means of repelling an attack by existing foreign navies."8 At the outbreak of World War II, six 35,000-ton and four 45,000-ton battleships were being built under the provisions of the Vinson-Trammell Act.

The attack at Pearl Harbor along with the battles of Midway and Coral Sea finally proved General Mitchell's point beyond refutation. The Navy redirected its shipbuilding efforts, and since World War II the aircraft carrier has been its capital ship, growing more sophisticated and expensive with each succeeding design.


As the newest carrier in the fleet, the Nimitz is the most awesome warfighting machine afloat. But many questions remain concerning the survivability of a ship even as powerful as the Nimitz in the event of hostilities. Of the many developments in naval warfare since World War II, two in particular pose a threat to the carrier: the nuclear-powered submarine and the cruise missile.

Most Americans who lived through World War II can recall the devastation and the threat posed by German U-boats. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. has compiled some statistics on the U-boat menace: in the month of June 1940, these crude, diesel-fired submarines sank 63 ships totaling 355,431 tons. During this time, the German Navy had only 19 U-boats at sea. Today, the Soviet Union has a total of 251 attack submarines, 80 of which are nuclear-powered.9

There is no comparison between the capabilities of a nuclear-powered and a conventionally-powered submarine. Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, an advocate of both nuclear-powered submarines and carriers, has said:

If this country or Russia ever turned their forces of submarines loose, they would devastate the seas . . . nuclear submarines have never been tried out under actual conditions of war. It is beyond the comprehension of most naval officers to comprehend the difference between a submarine that can make 9 knots for one half hour and stay submerged for 2 days at most and a submarine that can make over 20 knots and stay submerged indefinitely. They cannot grasp the significance of this military capability . . . because they are too loyal to their previous concepts and to the regime and environment in which they have been brought up.10

As for the cruise missile, the editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, the authoritative digest of all the world's navies, flatly states that it "has altered the naval equation beyond recognition."11 Since 1958, Soviet ships have carried cruise missiles that can be targeted against opposing ships from ranges of 20 to 550 miles. The U.S. Navy dropped what was then its only cruise missile program-the Regulus-in the late 1950s. According to the former Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, the Regulus was terminated "on the theory that our carriers were so effective that we did not need cruise missiles, though some have suspected that the reluctance of the aviators' union to give up any portion of its jurisdiction played a large part in the decision."12 The man currently in charge of the Navy's surface warships, Admiral James Doyle, puts it this way: "We've depended too long on our tactical air to supply that punch against a surface target."13 The Navy is just now placing its first effective cruise missile at sea-the Harpoon, with a range of 60 miles. Foes of the supercarrier see this belated effort as yet another negative consequence of building the Navy around its capital ship.

In recent years, the Soviet Union has been launching one nuclear-powered attack submarine and one cruise-missile-carrying major surface combatant ship every three months. There are no indications that these launch rates will slacken in the near future. Soviet shipbuilding programs reflect the Kremlin's steadfast goal to defeat the Navy's floating airbases. To do so with the highest probability of success, the Soviet Union would stage a mass attack from the air and sea. The closer the carrier attempts to operate within range of these forces, in so-called high-threat areas, the more vulnerable it becomes to the new military technologies it has never faced.

The carrier's vulnerability in high-threat areas has become more pronounced with the declining number of U.S. carriers at sea. Although the Navy maintains a force of thirteen large-deck carriers, only four to five are deployed in forward areas at any one time; the rest are in their homeports or in shipyards undergoing conversion or repair. This means that an adversary has a very small number of high-value targets to concentrate its forces against. We may well be reaching the point where even small nations, armed with a modest but sufficient supply of cruise missiles, can disable a carrier through a surprise attack. As one former Pentagon official stated, "I am afraid we have gotten to the point, particularly in the eastern end of the Mediterranean, where one aircraft carrier cannot protect itself, just like one infantryman cannot protect himself."14

The Navy's response has been to build bigger and better carriers, as the requirement to operate "in harm's way" has not changed. Admiral Rickover sums up this position best: "The United States has given up any possibility of matching the Soviet Navy in numbers of ships; therefore, our only hope to be able to carry out our mission in the areas of highest threat is superior ships."15

As with its previous capital ship, the Navy has concentrated on increasing the armor and compartmentalization of the aircraft carrier; today's supercarrier has over ten times the compartmentalization of the old battleships. Because of these measures, Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf II believes that the Nimitz can take ten torpedoes "without slowing down," and that ten of the heaviest Russian cruise missiles would render the Nimitz inoperative, but only for a few hours.16 The best way to evaluate these contentions would be with a replay of the Billy Mitchell bombing run, only this time with cruise missiles and a decommissioned carrier. As this event is unlikely to occur, it would be wise to keep in mind that Navy officials have a quite different assessment of the Harpoon, the U.S. cruise missile currently in production: "It is reasonable to assume that a Harpoon hit would cause considerable damage to even the largest combatant and that a series of hits would result in complete neutralization or sinking."17

For the future, the carrier admirals are counting on a new air-defense system known as Aegis to protect their capital ship in high threat areas. Aegis will be mounted on nuclear-powered strike cruisers (CSGNs) and conventionally-powered destroyers (DDG-47s). Two Aegis escorts will try to protect each carrier by knocking down incoming cruise missiles.

But Aegis has now been in development since 1969; it will not go to sea until 1982. Given this lag time, Aegis might well be outdated before it ever sees action. Still more effective Soviet antiship missiles are expected shortly, and in the distance looms the possibility of an antiship ballistic missile. To complicate matters further, it should be far easier for the U.S.S.R. to field a large number of relatively low-cost cruise missiles than for the United States to build $1 billion Aegis ships.

In light of the above, the National Security Council's decision that just one more supercarrier is needed has the appearance of a political compromise rather than a sound political and military judgment. The NSC's "preliminary findings" noted the prospective vulnerability of the carrier. But last year, according to one published report, the Soviet Union simulated a surprise attack by over 200 warships and 300 submarines within 90 seconds of each other, during the Okean 75 naval exercises.18

In short, we are back to the central assumption of the carrier's vulnerability. The more the carrier attempts to operate in high-threat areas, the more its aircraft will be devoted to self-protection rather than power projection. And the more the carrier attempts to operate in high-threat areas, the more it runs up against new military technologies designed to blunt its mission.


No carrier can withstand an attack by nuclear weapons. Nor can a carrier reasonably be expected to survive a mass conventional attack by the Soviet Union. Thus the actual military value of another large-deck carrier narrows down to conflicts against Third World countries where the adversary either cannot or chooses not to retaliate at sea. This is where the Nimitz, like less illustrious predecessors, is most likely to see action.

Two questions immediately flow from this conclusion: Does the United States need another supercarrier for this purpose? And more importantly, is this the kind of action that the American people will support and that national leaders should pursue? In the wake of Vietnam, few would volunteer affirmative answers to this final question, although the troubling potential for American involvement in the Middle East and Northeast Asia refuses to fade away.

If the answers to these questions cannot be given in black or white terms, at least U.S. military forces should be structured so as to provide policymakers with various courses of action to pursue. At present, the only answer the U.S. Navy has is to send its large-deck carriers in harm's way. This lack of military flexibility affects national policy in a variety of situations.

In low-threat areas where the carrier's military utility is greatest, its diplomatic utility is most questionable. Given its accumulated history, the carrier presents the strongest possible image of American interventionism in many parts of the globe. In such cases, the carrier has a tendency to draw attention to itself, its political message washed away in the wake of the backlash stirred by its arrival. The presence of the nuclear-powered carrier Enterprise in the Bay of Bengal during the Indian-Pakistani War in 1971 is a case in point. The carrier's arrival was intended to signal India not to drive against West Pakistan after its successful military operations in the east. Whether any such signal was needed is open to debate; but there appears to be little debate among those involved that the chosen U.S. signal was particularly heavy-handed. Ostensibly, the Enterprise was sent to protect the few remaining Americans in what was to become Bangladesh. But the highest ranking American to be protected, the Consul General in Dacca, found that the deployment of the Enterprise had precisely the opposite effect-in addition to driving Indian-American relations to a new low.

Moreover, some potential Third World conflict areas are so close to Soviet power that they must be treated as high-threat areas. The presence of large-deck carriers in the eastern Mediterranean, for example, is a time-honored way of demonstrating national resolve or national support for an ally. This has now become an extraordinarily risky practice, which explains why attempts have been made to move U.S. carriers out of the Mediterranean. If the carriers are disabled, the Navy will have precious little to fall back on. A wiser strategy would be to place ships of lesser value in harm's way to demonstrate national resolve, sending in our scarce and most valuable military assets only after hostilities have started. In the case of both high- and low-threat situations, naval forces are not designed to provide for such alternatives, and national policy suffers as a result.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to the supercarrier on the horizon, which will provide policymakers with more flexible choices of action. One such alternative is a minicarrier, now designated the VSS by the Navy. The VSS would use vertical and short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft, thus eliminating the requirement for the large flat-top and size of the Nimitz. The Soviet Union is pursuing this approach, as can be seen by the Kiev which recently sailed out of the Black Sea. At 40,000 tons, the Kiev is roughly the same size as the Essex-class carriers used by the United States during World War II, and the Marines' new landing and assault ship, designated the LHA. The Kiev's V/STOL aircraft are no match for the high-performance conventional aircraft on board the Nimitz, but they are more advanced than anything comparable in the West. Still, the 40,000-ton Kiev fulfills the task of demonstrating national resolve as well as the Nimitz, which is twice as large and far more costly. Bristling with cruise missiles, the Kiev could also disable a large-deck carrier in a preemptive strike.

Because they are less costly, minicarriers can be purchased in larger numbers: for equal life cycle cost, roughly four VSS ships can be procured for the price of the next Nimitz. The smaller ships would not have the interventionist stigma which is attached to the supercarrier, while retaining power projection capabilities should the need arise. And the four VSS ships would place more aircraft at sea than one more supercarrier.

V/STOL aircraft platforms involve a substantial change for naval aviators, who are wedded to highly sophisticated fighters like the F-14. Perhaps because of this, V/STOL research and development programs have been poorly funded over the years. Admiral Holloway, however, has taken steps to give these aircraft development programs a higher priority. One hopes that his successors will show similar foresight. Still, the United States has a long way to go to attain the performance needed out of these experimental aircraft. This is the risk involved in redirecting the Navy toward minicarriers, as well as the reason why enthusiasts for the supercarrier continue to argue for "one more" ship-even though it will take eight years to build. The risk in failing to achieve satisfactory performance from V/STOL aircraft must be weighed against the risk of fielding a small number of high-value targets vulnerable even to the military technology of today, and even more so to that of the 1980s and 1990s. In all probability, however, the technological problems with V/STOL aircraft will be easier to solve than the attitudinal problems involved in weaning the Navy away from its capital ship. After all, while Admiral Holloway was calling for increased V/STOL efforts, he was also asking for another Nimitz.

Another imaginative alternative to building the Navy around still another large-deck carrier is to rely more on land-based aircraft. One idea currently circulating within the Pentagon is to use planes approximately the size of a Boeing 707 to patrol the oceans. These aircraft, which could be on station up to 24 hours, would be equipped with weapons and sensors to counter an adversary's ships, submarines and aircraft. Each aircraft, now designated the land-based multipurpose aircraft (LMNA) and nicknamed "Big Momma," will cost less than half as much as the least expensive naval ship now under construction, while having far greater capabilities. Initial Navy reaction is reported to be cool, "because the concept is viewed as a potential competitor to the aircraft carrier."19

These alternative approaches would undoubtedly help the Navy carry out its sea control mission; they might also provide some assistance in carrying out power projection in low-threat areas. But they do not address the Navy's requirement for power projection in areas of the most severe threat. Ironically enough, a partial solution to this problem might be to combine the very elements that now constitute the biggest threats to the carrier. Armed with highly accurate, tactical cruise missiles, nuclear-powered submarines could be used to project power ashore. Just as ballistic missiles have taken away the carrier's strategic mission, so too may cruise missiles chip away at the carrier's role in conventional wars.


But the real question before the Navy is not how to best preserve its power projection mission in high-threat areas. The fundamental question is whether we should continue to expect and design our Navy to project power in the most severe retaliation zones. The new realities of naval warfare-as well as anticipated trends-clearly dictate a rethinking of the Navy's role here.

This is bound to be a painful experience for the Navy, because any tampering with its capital ship touches a number of highly sensitive nerves. Nevertheless, a redefinition of the services' roles and missions for power projection is clearly needed. Within the umbrella of Soviet air and naval firepower, it would seem wise to rely more upon the Air Force and less upon the Navy to project American power against land targets. The Air Force has refined and practiced the needed aerial refueling techniques. And if we cannot rely on air bases on the ground to support such combat operations, it is difficult to imagine how floating air bases can survive under present circumstances.

A corollary conclusion would be to reaffirm the Navy's primary mission of sea control and to design future ship construction programs accordingly. Along with the ascendancy of the large-deck carrier as the Navy's capital ship came a de facto reversal of mission priorities; since World War II, the secondary mission of power projection has taken precedence over the Navy's primary mission of sea control. This is because the carrier-though useful for many purposes-is first and foremost a power projection ship. A careful look at the carrier's aircraft, deployment practices and historical record all confirm this point. And the Nimitz has been boosted at the expense of its lower cost alternatives on precisely these grounds: it has superior power projection capabilities.

Since World War II, the Navy's shipbuilding programs and budgets have reflected its reversed mission priorities. Some accounts say as high as 50 percent of the Navy's budget revolves around its capital ship.20 One additional nuclear-powered carrier will undoubtedly help to maintain the imbalance between funding and mission priorities. But even without the new carrier, this imbalance will continue as new escort ships are built to protect the Navy's biggest investment. The next carrier, for example, will bring along with it two nuclear-powered strike cruiser escorts. The life cycle cost of each strike cruiser is $2 billion; the Navy wants at least ten strike cruisers.

The decision to purchase "one more" carrier like the Nimitz signals the Navy's determination not to let any redefinition of roles and missions occur. A continuance of the Navy's reversed mission priorities may prove to be a costly proposition in more ways than one: as long as the Navy's secondary mission of power projection continues to draw funds beyond its significance, ship construction budgets will continue to be excessive. The current budget jumped 58 percent-from $3.928 to $6.195 billion; similar increases can be expected in the future. The return on these outlays remains questionable, because high-priced ships for whatever mission can still be countered by new naval strategies employing relatively low-cost weapons. Large increases in ship construction programs are not the answer to the Navy's current plight, because the essential problem is not one of resource allocation. The central problem has become the Navy's continued and exclusive reliance on its capital ship to solve this nation's naval problems. The Navy continues to look backward for its solutions at a time when new military technologies demand new conceptual approaches.

Once before in the recent past, the Navy mistakenly clung to its capital ship in the face of new weapons and tactics. How deep does the parallel run between the Navy's former alliance with the battleship and its current commitment to the supercarrier? Today's controversy is far more complex than the one generated by General Billy Mitchell. For one thing, there is no simple alternative to the Navy's current capital ship, as there was back in the 1930s. And rarely, if ever, does history lend itself to such neat comparisons. But the echoes of the battleship debate still haunt the Navy today. Enough of those echoes ring true to give pause to all but the most tunnel-visioned supporters of today's capital ship. During World War II, the United States had the time and the protection of two oceans to correct its shipbuilding mistakes. In any future war, we can no longer count on either.


1 Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate, 94th Cong., 2nd sess., 1976, part 13, p. 7111.

2 Prior to its submission to Capitol Hill, the Pentagon's budget is subject to intense debate and last-minute changes. The Fiscal Year 1977 shipbuilding request changed considerably during final review stages, as funds for the down payment on another Nimitz as well as five additional ships were pared. Instead, a National Security Council study was commissioned to review the Navy's needs.

The House Armed Services Committee completely rewrote the Administration's shipbuilding request, adding $1.2 billion. Among the add-ons proposed by the Committee and authorized by the House was a $350 million down payment for another Nimitz.

What happened next is the subject of some controversy. Ford Administration officials deny that politics had anything to do with their actions, but their timing only served to raise such speculation: on the morning of the Texas primary, the Administration finalized its decision to send a supplemental shipbuilding request to the Senate, where the Senate Armed Services Committee was concluding hearings on the original budget submission. The new request, based on "preliminary findings" of the NSC study, essentially accepted the $1.2 billion add-on from the House, but applied these funds to a different mix of ships. The major area of agreement between the Administration and the House was on the need for the carrier's long lead funds.

At first, the Senate refused to fund the carrier. But a compromise agreement reached in the Conference Committee resolving differences in the House- and Senate-passed Authorization Bills kept the new carrier alive. Subsequent action by both houses on the Defense Appropriation Bills has left these funds intact.

3 Alva M. Bowen, Jr., "U.S. Naval Expansion Programs: An Analysis of the Cost of Expanding the Navy from 500 to 600 Ships," Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, April 7, 1976. The actual investment cost of a supercarrier and its aircraft is currently $3.5-4 billion. Subsequent operation and support costs round out the $17.5 billion figure-which, however, does not include the effects of inflation over a 35-year estimated useful life, nor the costs of the four to eight escort ships needed for its immediate protection.

4 Emile Gauvreau and Lester Cohen, Billy Mitchell, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1942, p. 60.

5 Roger Burlingame, General Billy Mitchell, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1952, p. 114; Dudley W. Knox, Captain, USN, "Bomber vs. Battleship," American Army and Navy Journal, February 25, 1922, p. 605.

6 Hearings Before the Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives on Sundry Legislation Affecting the Naval Establishment, 69th Cong., 3rd sess., 1921, p. 659.

7 Ibid., p. 932.

8 To Establish the Composition of the United States Navy, Hearings Before the Committee on Naval Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, 75th Cong., 3rd sess., 1938, p. 1943.

10 Hearings Before the House Armed Services Committee, 94th Cong., 2nd sess., 1976, part 5, p. 576.

11 John Moore, Captain, RN (Ret.), editor, as reprinted in Seapower Magazine, September 1975, p. 31.

12 Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., On Watch, A Memoir, New York: Quadrangle Books, 1976, p. 81.

13 Hearings Before the House Armed Services Committee, 94th Cong., 2nd sess., 1976, part 4, p. 365.

14 Testimony of Assistant Secretary of Defense Leonard Sullivan, House Armed Services Committee Hearings on Overall National Security Programs and Related Budget Requirements, 94th Cong., 1st sess., 1975, p. 211.

15 The New York Times, May 6, 1976, p. 31.

16 As reported in Aerospace Daily, March 1, 1976.

17 Senate Armed Services Committee Hearings, Department of Defense Appropriations, 94th Cong., 1st sess., 1975, part 3, p. 341.

18 The Detroit News, August 23, 1976, p. 1.

19 Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 18, 1976, p. 91.

20 John W. Finney, "Dreadnought or Dinosaur?" The New York Times Magazine, January 18, 1976.

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  • Since 1974, Michael Krepon has been Legislative Assistant to Congressman Floyd V. Hicks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
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