Aircraft Carrier Costs

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Let us imagine
a floating city that houses a population of roughly 6000 individuals.
Let us imagine the costs to provide electricity to these 6000 individuals
is roughly identical to that of providing electricity to a small
city which populates 100,000. Let us further imagine paying these
6000 individuals to live on this floating city as well as paying
any costs to support and maintain their stay. Finally, let us reveal
this floating paradise for what it truly is: a colossal apparatus
of butchery that costs the taxpayer billions in annual dollars!

The purpose
of this article is to fry but a small fish in a vast pond of governmental
inefficiency.

Those who typically
support the construction and operation of the aircraft carrier employ
the following argument "the navy's ability to carry out the
U.S. military strategies is highly dependent on its ability to supply
tactical air power at sea…" (see David Isenberg: The
Illusion of Power
), yet at what cost? It is estimated
that a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier costs, on average,
$22 billion dollars each (see below), of which we currently harbor
ten — with an additional three in the pipeline of procurement.

  • Construction
    Costs — $4.5 billion
  • Mid-life
    Overhaul Costs — $2.3 billion
  • Operating
    and Support Costs — $14 billion
  • Other
    Costs — $1 billion
  • Total
    Average Cost — $22 billion each

(As
estimated in life-cycle costs of 1997 dollars)

However, the
costs outlined above do not fully inform the taxpayer of actual
overheads. Like the forty-five carat Hope Diamond, these expensive
naval ships spend more time being secured than actually employed.
According to defense analyst Edward N. Luttwak, it is estimated
"that more than $6 billion worth of ships, as well as salaries,
benefits, and pensions for 8,000 people are needed to keep a carrier-based
air wing of 90 planes at sea (Pentagon
and the Art of War
)."

Yet, aside
from their expensive nature what benefits are gained from the procurement
of such expensive vessels? For example, if the U.S. operated under
the banner of neutrality, whereas military expenditures were dedicated
only to the cause of protection, would such expensive acquisitions
be condoned? Indeed, if oceans
or militaries
were privatized would we see such expensive acquisitions? The answer
within such a political environment as we have today is likely no.
In all, these large war devices have no place outside an aggressive
hegemony

There just
is no threat aside from continued tax theft!

At an annual
budget of roughly $650+ billion
dollars
, the United States spends as much on its military per
year as the top 21 competing nations. Or in other language, at the
rank of number one for military expenditures the U.S. outspends
ranks 2–21 combined per year on their military (see below).

Rank  

Country  

Military
expenditures (USD)  

u2014

World
Total

1,470,000,000,000

u2014

NATO Total

1,049,875,309,000

1

United
States

663,700,000,000

2

People’s
Rep. of China

70,308,600,000

3

United
Kingdom

65,149,500,000

4

Japan

48,860,000,000

5

France

47,421,250,000

6

Germany

45,930,000,000

7

Turkey

40,936,000,000

8

Italy

40,050,000,000

9

Russian
Federation

39,600,000,000

10

India

32,700,000,000

11

Iraq

32,400,000,000

12

Saudi
Arabia

31,050,000,000

13

South
Korea

28,500,000,000

14

Brazil

23,972,836,012

15

Australia

23,040,500,000

16

Canada

19,038,161,370

17

Spain

18,974,000,000

18

Israel

13,300,000,000

19

Netherlands

12,000,000,000

20

Poland

11,791,000,000

21

Republic
of China (Taiwan)

10,500,000,000

(See
CIA
website or List
of countries by military expenditures
)

Furthermore,
at an annual operating and supporting cost of roughly $300
million dollars
per carrier, the United States spends more per
year on their 10 aircraft carriers than most countries spend on
their entire military budget!

Thus, before
this country can begin to realize the temperament of domestic security
it must first be stripped of such aggressive and cumbersome armament.
Let these bulky naval bodies be pawned off to carnival cruise lines
or salvaged for it materials. Let this be the end of the era of
large navy ships.

October
21, 2009

Jeremiah
Dyke [send him mail]
is a math teacher who hails free markets and freedom of choice.

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