Heritage Events Podcast
The Future of the U.S. Aircraft Carrier: Fearsome Warship or Expensive Target?
Over 70 years ago, U.S. Navy aircraft carriers supplanted battleships as preeminent warship with their ability to strike enemy warships or land targets hundreds of miles away. Since World War II, U.S. aircraft carriers and the carrier air wing have operated relatively unthreatened, providing unrivaled air support and power projection capability in every U.S. conflict. Recently, an increasing number of critics are predicting the end of the aircraft carrier era. They cite the growing threats from anti-ship missiles, such as China’s DF-21D “carrier killer”; the proliferation of increasingly quieter attack submarines; and advanced integrated air and missile defense capabilities. They also argue that current carrier strike fighter aircraft and their weapons lack sufficient range to engage targets in a denied/degraded environment. Aircraft carrier proponents argue that a modern U.S. supercarrier uniquely provides a globally deployable U.S. airfield that can rapidly respond to emergent crises and does not depend the approval of any host nation. While they acknowledge the increased threats to the carrier strike group and its air wing, they argue that introduction of the fifth generation F-35, long-range unmanned carrier-based tankers, advanced weapons and electronic warfare systems, and the employment of new operational tactics will enable the aircraft carrier to remain relevant for the foreseeable future. Can the new USS FORD-class aircraft carrier and a modernized carrier air wing provide effective sea-based power projection against near-peer competitors like Russia and China, should the U.S. Navy develop smaller aircraft carriers with new weapons systems and carrier aircraft to meet these 21st Century threats, or should the U.S. move on from the aircraft carrier?
Why America Needs the Long Range Standoff Weapon
America has embarked on a long-overdue effort to modernize its nuclear deterrent, most of which is decades oldandbecoming obsolete.Acritical partofthis effort is theAir Force’sdevelopmentoftheLong Range Standoff weapon (LRSO), anew generation ofthe current nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile (ALCM), which isquickly aging out.As argued in anewly-released Heritage Foundation report, the LRSO will be critical tomaintainingthe air leg of the nuclear triad, enablingbombers tohold at riskwell-defended targets for decades to come. Yet as with any major nuclear acquisition program, the LRSO facesroadblocks, including decreasingdefense budgets, acquisition challenges, and strident anti-nuclear opposition.Tomake LRSO a reality, we shouldbe prepared toanswer tough questions. Dobombersreally needcruisemissiles?Whatcapabilitieswill LRSO provide? How willthis weaponimpact strategic stability?Join us as ourexpertpanel takes onthese questionsand more.
One Year Later: Lessons from the Early COVID-19 Response
Secretary Azar reflects on the Trump Administration’s early actions on COVID-19 and what lessons can be drawn from the response, including travel restrictions that slowed the spread, pressure for transparency from China, bringing Americans home safely from abroad, rapidly formed partnerships with the private sector, and educating the American people with the best science available at the time.
State-Sponsored Human Trafficking and How to Fight It
Human trafficking in all forms is abhorrent, but when governments enslave and sell their own people, it takes on an even more pernicious edge. 2020 marked the first year that the State Department designated state sponsors of human trafficking, with ten nations earning the dubious distinction. These designations were an important step in raising awareness about how regimes exploit their own citizens for profit and serve as a vital mechanism to hold them accountable. Join us to commemorate National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, as we spotlight this concerning trend and identify solutions.