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Word Count: 945
The question of aircraft carrier viability in the 21st Century has risen in the past years Where is the nearest carrier Every American president since the Presidency of Harry S Truman has asked this question Carrier-based aviation because it can bring firepower to bear on a target without getting permission to land somewhere Such flexibility is one of the essential the reason for the further development of the aircraft carriers The strongest argument in favor of the aircraft carrier is that no aircraft carrier built during or since World War II has been sunk in combat This issue of aircraft survivability demonstrates the strength of the assets of the Air Force and Navy The counter argument has been that the weakness of a carrier is that does not have to be sunk it simply has to be damaged to the point where it can no longer sustain flight operations With that said being that the nuclear threat has been diminished at least in terms of our Post-Cold War status the Weapons of Mass Destruction have become crude and simple weapons of chemical and biological nature Such weapons possess the killing power of nuclear weapons and are delivered by means of row-boats and Ryder trucks Such a threat also highlights the advantages of the carriers open sea mobility rather than the fixed latitude and longitude of installations such as the barracks previously located before their regrettable destruction at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia or in Beirut Lebanon Even if chemical weapons are successfully delivered in an attack against a carrier the ability of the carrier to seal its hatches and secure sufficient ventilation is confirms that the carrier can readily survive External sprinkling systems then wash away residual chemicals while the carrier is able to relocate to a clear area For such a contingency to even occur assumes that a threat had been able to target the underway
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