Monday, December 12, 2016

The Dignity of the United States Navy

The Dignity of the United States Navy is under siege

Something to remember 75 years after Pearl Harbor: The United States Navy is the best in the world, by an order of magnitude. No other navy is remotely as powerful. There are 40 in-service aircraft carriers in the world; 19 of them are ours. (Russia has just one, and it's in bad shape.) By a civilian count, we have 72 nuclear subs to Russia's 30. Our navy has assured the peace— Pax Americana—for decades, as the British fleet did in 19th century. So far as I can tell, our navy has only one embarrassing shortcoming: Its ships are named by idiots.

The original six frigates of the American Navy were the United States, the President, the Congress, the Chesapeake, the Constellation, and Old Ironsides—the Constitution. For a long time, our ship names followed specific naming traditions: battle ships were named for states, cruisers for cities, destroyers for naval heroes, aircraft carriers for great ships of the past, and so on. But, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I've just learned the name of a new destroyer shortly to be built: the USS Carl M. Levin.

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