From: Washington D.C.
I've always thought of US supercarriers as multi-mission platforms. Strike was just one of the various "services" they could provide. It happened to be the one which was most in demand, historically. That has less to do with the aircraft carriers themselves and more to do with the nature of past conflicts, though. Historically most enemy fleets in post-war conflicts haven't been very capable. They've been green water or brown water navies, which aren't really capable of challenging a carrier and its escorts. If nothing else, the carrier could sit a couple hundred miles out to sea, impossible to detect and attack by any force up to the task.
In the conflict that never happened, NATO v. Warsaw Pact in the Fulda Gap, or the North Cape, carriers and their escorts would have been performing all the functions mentioned in the article. They'd have been attacking the enemy fleet as well as defending themselves and other fleets (e.g. amphibious forces, convoys). The endgame, of course, would be to close with the enemy coast and be in a position to strike targets with nuclear or conventional weapons, but that'd be the final phase of war which started off thousands of miles away in the North Atlantic, protecting themselves and convoys from strikes by naval bombers and submarines, moving through a midgame phase where they'd be fighting a large and heavily armed enemy fleet, and then, only once the fleet was defeated, could they then go on to strike targets on land.
Historical conflicts allowed the supercarriers to skip straight to the endgame because they faced no effective opposition.
I don't really think that was the point. To me, the point of the article is that the role of US carriers might have to change from primarily being a strike platform back to a component of the an integrated fleet. As you move from adversaries that have little ability to threaten the carrier, to adversaries that can directly attack a carrier, the carrier has to come back to its original role of killing enemy fleets and covering landings.
< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 4/23/2018 5:02:49 PM >