Unsinkable aircraft carrier

Unsinkable aircraft carrier

An unsinkable aircraft carrier is a term sometimes used to refer to a geographical or political island that is utilized to extend the power projection of a military force. Because such an entity is capable of acting as an airbase and is a physical landmass incapable of being destroyed, it is, in effect, an aircraft carrier that cannot be sunk.

The term "unsinkable aircraft carrier" first arose during World War II, to describe the islands and atolls in the Pacific Ocean which became strategically important as potential airstrips for American bombers in their transoceanic war against Japan. To this end, the U.S. military engaged in numerous island hopping operations to oust the occupying Japanese forces from such islands; afterwards the U.S. Navy Seabees would often have to construct airstrips there from scratch - sometimes over entire atolls - quickly, in order to support the air operations against Japan.

The British Isles during World War II, Taiwan since the Chinese Civil War, and the modern state of Israel have all been considered unsinkable aircraft carriers in regards to United States military forces. [cite news |author=Richard Blystone|title=Europe learning lessons of Greenham Common |url=http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/19/then.now/ |publisher=CNN |accessdate=2007-12-18] [cite news |title="AN UNSINKABLE AIRCRAFT CARRIER" |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,856644,00.html |work=Time |date=1950-09-04|accessdate=2007-12-18] [cite news |author=David Bar-Illan|title=U.S. aid presents dilemma for Israel in need |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_19991027/ai_n13841203 |work=Chicago Sun-Times |date=1999-10-27|accessdate=2007-12-18] In 1983, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone pledged to make Japan an "unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Pacific", assisting the U.S. in defending against the threat of Soviet bombers. [cite news |title=Beef and Bitter Lemons |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,951916-1,00.html |work=Time |date=1983-01-31|accessdate=2007-12-18] [cite news |author=David E. Sanger |title=THE NATION: Car Wars; The Corrosion at the Core of Pax Pacifica |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE6D81539F937A25756C0A963958260 |work=The New York Times |date=1995-05-14|accessdate=2007-12-18]


*cite news |author=Jill Smolowe|title=Middle East: No Give and Take |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,973884-1,00.html |work=Time |date=1991-09-23|accessdate=2007-12-18
*cite news |author=Richard Hanson|title='Unsinkable aircraft carrier' steams to Iraq |url=http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/FB07Dh09.html |work=Asia Times |date=2004-02-07|accessdate=2007-12-18

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