Horses, Bayonets And Why Romney’s Navy Critique Makes No Sense

(Photo: AP)

During tonight’s foreign policy presidential Mitt Romney repeated his attack on President Obama for the U.S. Navy and Air Force being smaller than they were in 1917 and 1947 respectively. This is a “pointless” comparison, as CNN noted recently, explaining that it’s “wrong to assume that fewer ships translates to a weaker military” or fighters for that matter “[b]ecause of the technological supremacy of current Navy ships, the military can get more from each one than it did even 10 to 15 years ago.”

Obama pointed this out during the debate:

OBAMA: But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting slips. It’s what are our capabilities

Watch the clip:

In other words, 1,000 1940s-era fighter planes combined can’t do what one of today’s B-2 Stealth bomber can do, the same for Navy ships in 1917 versus today.

The Washington Post fact checker agreed with CNN. “This is a nonsense fact.” noted it’s “a meaningless claim.”