U.S. leadership is full-on in the budget is strategy mode. Many are making big about the F-35B STOVL landing on a ship; even if things like weapons clearance, qualified mission systems and tribal knowledge from a real operational squadron are long in the future.
Oh yeah, and, if budget is strategy, why are we paying for this thing?
Is it possible for the Hill and the Department of Defense to get the wrong message about the F-35B STOVL?
Sources like Second Line of Defense are happy to carry water for the U.S. Marine Corps' wrong idea that amphib flat-tops are like carriers. They are not, but the visuals and misinformation are there in enough quantity to make our political leaders think so.
And read this bit by G of how the amphibs are getting less in number. Cheerleaders of the above theory have to bang their drum about this too.
Things are lining up to make the USMC the premier expeditionary strategy: no large carriers needed. And nothing else needed if you believe the hype. It wouldn't be such a terrible idea if all we were to face in the future were 3rd-rate threats. That is not the reality.
But who do you go to when the Army is all but gone? When the amphibs and Marines on them get sunk, I guess no one.