Rethinking the 600-Ship Navy in Light of Gramm-Rudman

by Kevin N. Lewis

Download

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback6 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

This paper discusses a crucial policy question facing the United States — whether the proposed Navy buildup from a fleet of 500 to one of 600 ships makes good sense, or whether budget resources would be better spent in other ways. The most expensive element of the proposed increase will be the addition of three vessels to the aircraft carrier force. The cost to maintain each of these (with its escorts, support vessels, aircraft, and crew) runs at a minimum of $75 billion over its 45-year lifetime. Proponents argue that with the additional carriers, the U.S. Navy could deploy to advanced positions much closer to Soviet Navy concentrations and deal a decisive offensive blow very early in a war. Thoughtful analysis shows, however, that the United States should instead invest in forward air and land theater forces to better defend key allies, trading partners, and vital raw materials. Higher priority should be given to modernization of the entire current U.S. posture — air support, ammunition, weapons, intelligence, new technologies, and reserves.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.