Monday, April 21, 2008

The Second Aircraft Carrier

As a candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy promised that France would have a second aircraft carrier. As President, it seems, he has discovered that aircraft carriers are horribly expensive, the army and air force don't think France needs one, and even the navy isn't so sure it wants to sacrifice other types of ships in order to enjoy the privilege of operating a floating pot of gold. Hervé Morin has noted the obvious budgetary constraints but, having been admonished by the president not to speak out of turn, says that it is up to the head of state to arbitrate. The Élysée says that the president remains "attached" to the project.

A personal side-note: the porte-hélicoptère Jeanne-d'Arc that took part in the recent operation against the "pirates of Ponant" once visited Boston, and I was invited to visit the ship. The captain received us wearing a sword strapped to his side and looking most impressive in his dress uniform. My children were quite taken with the idea that the captain of a modern naval vessel would wear a sword. They staged a mock duel between the captain and attacking pirates on the deck of the ship while my wife and I enjoyed the view of Old Ironsides, which was anchored nearby.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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