The United States officially christened its newest ship Saturday morning in Norfolk, Virginia, The USS Gerald R. Ford, named for the 38th President of the United States who served in the Navy during World War Two. It might seem odd on the surface to refer to such a weapon of war that could be considered “humanitarian”. It has been argued for decades that weapons of war like the Gerald R. Ford, have been considered extremely effective deterrents to war. A martial artist who really believes in the mind, body and spirit of what he learns will tell you that you train to fight so you do not have to fight. Bullies back down from superior firepower, and when they do not, you want to know that your firepower really is superior. The USS Gerald R. Ford can be so much more than just superior firepower for the United States and its allies.
The United States creates its arsenal of naval warfare to be able to do so much more than be “the stick” to swing at its mortal enemies. In 2004, when a devastating Tsunami struck several countries in the Indian Ocean, it was the Untied States, and one of its carrier strike groups, that went in to action to provide relief efforts.
It was an American military effort that immediately headed to the disaster areas to provide power, fresh water, medical supplies and surveys of the devastated areas. The USS Abraham Lincoln and a flotilla of Naval and Marine Corps support vessels came to the aid of millions of people with the aforementioned supplies and actions to aid people that did not have a high approval rating of the United States.
Ships like the USS Gerald R. Ford are meant to be weapons of war, first and foremost, to make enemies of the United States think twice before carrying out military actions against American allies. At the same time however, an asset like the USS Gerald R. Ford, ironically, can be the single greatest humanitarian tool for a country in desperate need for a compassionate solution to a natural disaster. And that is what some would argue, is the difference between the Untied States, and its rivals for military dominance in the world in which we live.