“America cant change spending by reducing the carrier fleet 10%. The cost of the extra ship is a rounding error when compared to [Social Security].”
Go to www.firepower.com, Website tabulates countries economic and military power. US has the largest military, China is distant third. US foreign exchange reserve is 150 trillion, China foreign exchange reserves is 2600 trillion. We get excited when China launches a dinky former Russian medium size aircraft carrier and shows a prototype stealth fighter and scream more money for defense! Yet no one looks a China’s financial power (2600 trillion vs our 150 trillion). Today China is accumulating gold for her central banks. She produces 400 tons a year which is kept in her country, we do not know how much she imports from the world via Hong Kong for her central bank. Several years ago she announced 1050 tons in her central bank (surprising many in the world) and many think in 2013 she will announce a number 2000 to 3000 tons minimum, the US has about 8000 tons. Today China is officially the largest trading nation in the world surpassing the US annual trade activity. China in the last few years have been settling trade with letters of credit and not US dollars. If she expands this method of settling trade with other nations, the US will be stuck with a huge supply of unused US dollars returning to the US banking system causing currency inflation thus sinking the DoD buying power for fuel, parts, spares and etc to upkeep our naval operations in the world. This affect will be on top of our gov attempt to avoid default on our debts via printing currency to buy our own T Bills. China can strengthen her method of settling trade by backing these letters of credit with gold.
China is slowly strangulating the US via financial instruments from one side while we looking in the wrong direction at Chinese military props and freaking out. Eventually China does not have to sink a US carrier to reduce USN power in Pacific, our own financial crisis will deactivate the carrier forces one ship at a time. Just look at the www.firepower.com data. If you are a distant third in military power to US but possess 20x in foreign exchange reserves, which one would you use as your primary tool to undermine US power?