- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
The February issue of Proceedings carries a very poor cover article by an admiral that says that aircraft carriers are well worth their $15 billion pricetag. Why? Well, pretty much because he says so, dammit. He makes no real effort to engage the critics and respond to their spate of recent criticism.
Look, it is fine to argue in favor of carriers. I just think that to be intellectually honest, you need to look at today’s huge flattops in the context of the advent of the UCAV and of global satellite coverage. The headline on the cover of the magazine is “CARRIERS: Cost Effective and Crucial.” That strikes me as a direct repudiation of the article by Navy Capt. Harry Hendrix that was published last year by CNAS. Hendrix argued that the carrier as we know it is rapidly becoming the battleship of our time, seen as powerful yet actually surprisingly irrelevant — and quite expensive. But the article doesn’t mention Hendrix’s work. So instead of being a professional discussion — the ostensible role of Proceedings — it falls into the realm of service propaganda.
By leading with weak, uninformative articles like this, Proceedings runs the risk of further marginalizing itself. In this budget environment, you can’t simply ignore those who make cost-based arguments, or attack them for doing so.
Hmm. Bob Work, who is nominated to become deputy secretary of defense, was head of CNAS when Capt. Hendrix’s article was published. I wonder if the Navy did this to fire a shot across his bow.
Navy captain: Time to deep-six the old school manned aviation carrier — before long-range Chinese missiles do it for usThomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. | Best Defense |
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |