Monday, October 22, 2012

Independent fact checking the debate: aircraft careers and submarines

During the foreign policy debate, Governor Romney's criticised Obama's policy of unilateral disarmament:

"Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917," Romney said. "The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285. ... We're headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me."

Romney also said the U.S. Air Force is "older and smaller" than at any time since it first flew in 1947 and that the U.S. has begun to move away from its traditional stance of being able to simultaneously fight wars on two fronts."

In his response, President Obama replied:
"I think Governor Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works," Obama said, beginning a sharp assault on Romney's foreign policy knowledge.

"You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

Independent Fact Check of Obama's defense of his military budget strategy
While it's true that today's American military ships are more powerful than they were in 1916, it's also true of the enemies of US also upgraded their navy. What's more important, Barack Obama sounded as if submarines and aircraft carriers are a novelty which dramatically change the naval campaigns in the 21st century. In reality, according to wikipedia:

The first military submarine was Turtle in 1776, a hand-powered egg-shaped device designed by the American David Bushnell, to accommodate a single man. It was the first verified submarine capable of independent underwater operation and movement, and the first to use screws for propulsion.

What's is more amazing is that submarines were used  even during the American revolutionary war. The first all-metal submarine was built in Russia in 1834, and it was equipped with rockets. Submarines were used extensively during WW1 and WW2. First nuclear submarine sailed in 1955.

The first aircraft carriers found their service in 1914 in the Japanese navy. Aircraft carriers were used extensively during WW2.

Independent Fact Check rates Obama's defense of his cuts to the military budget as MOSTLY FALSE and MISLEADING for his attempt to present aircraft carriers and submarines as relatively new military tools, which are changing the 21st century military priorities.


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