Kazianis cited reports in recent years that reveal the US navy's decreasing numbers of aircraft carriers, and increasing cost of deployments due to overworked ships and unplanned maintenance.
In November 2014, 11 members of the US Congress wrote to then Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, complaining, "As Rear Admiral Moore has phrased it so starkly, we're an eleven carrier Navy in a 15 carrier world."
In October last year a report by US naval expert Jerry Hendrix of the Center for New American Security warned that US warships are in danger of becoming ineffective because rival countries are building technology capable of sinking the carriers, forcing them further from the shore and even beyond the range of the aircraft the carriers hold.
"American power and permissive environments were assumed following the end of the Cold War, but the rise of new powers, including China and its pursuit of anti-access/area-denial (A2/ AD) strategies and capabilities to include the carrier-killing 1,000 nautical mile (nm) range Dong Feng-21 anti-ship ballistic missile, now threatens to push the Navy back beyond the range of its carrier air wings,” wrote Hendrix.
"This push back would limit the service’s ability to project power and thus undermine the credibility of the United States and the effectiveness of the global international system of governance that it, in conjunction with its allies and partners, has labored to build over the past 70 years."
"The Nulka system – designed to defeat anti-ship missiles – is certainly nothing new and has been used on other U.S. naval vessels for several years. But adding it to America’s carriers who are under threat from ever sophisticated anti-ship weapons being fired from locations on land, under the waves and in the air seems a very smart and timely idea," Kazianis wrote.
"Considering the importance of America’s carriers – and the resources being placed into the next generation of flat tops—Washington has every reason to make sure they are not sitting ducks on the high seas … Let’s just hope such efforts are sustained," Kazianis concluded.