Thomas, I'm still struggling to work out whether you're being controversial or whether you have seriously formed these views from your planning days....
the construct of the USN is a legacy of who owns her and what life experiences she has had over various capital ship centric wars (and those capital ships changing the course of events)
I've seen a fair bit of the data as to why the USN has Stennis sized carriers and why the arleigh burkes are the new greyhounds of the sea.. everything I've seen points to efficiencies at sea, time on station, capacity to bring firepower to bear in a sustained manner until support assets arrive on station (and this means weeks, not just days).
Apart from a budgetary constraint (never a good way to design capability and effectiveness into your armed forces), the size and scale makes sense - even aganst the PLAN.
the assets have changed from their cold war delivery to a new paradigm, ie its about constraining, containing and dictating your will as opposed to the original cold war mentality paradigm of dealing with soviet blunt force trauma with superior platforms and more precise weapons delivery.
for all the boogey man views of china that can fester on the internet, the reality is that she has some huge and significant emergent problems, and I don't see a linear transition of china to being a military threat to the US while she concurrently manages emerging problems at home. The current maritime orbat just makes it even harder for china to step up to the US and china will travel the same road as the soviets if they try to beat the US at a military on military basis, quite frankly her problems at home are usually conveniently ignored when some try to make a case about chinas emerging power and tipping the US off the perch. Thats a 20 year journey (still IMO) and the US would need a completely passive or "bought" congress to decay so quickly.
china can only impose soft political power at will, she can only convert to hard power once her military has the capacity to project that political will at a time and place any time of her choosing. she's 15-20 years away from that capability. India will also be changing in that time frame, so its not a one horse race by any means.
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