Strategic Tradeoffs in U.S. Naval Force Structure – Rule the Waves or Wave the Flag?

War on the Rocks – What kind of navy should the United States build with its defense dollars? Does America want one that will win wars? Of course. How about one that deters other nations from starting a war in the first place? No doubt. Perhaps it is also useful to have a navy that can “show the flag” to generate diplomatic and economic influence, or to bolster the liberal international order? And wouldn’t it be nice if Americans could have more guns, and more butter, while also lowering their taxes?