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 221 combined per year on their military (see below).
Military expenditures (USD)
People’s Rep. of China
Republic of China (Taiwan)
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