A pair of political scientists who did a study on the naval power of all the nations of the world over time are reinforcing, with specific measures, just how dishonest the Republicans, and Mitt Romney specifically, are being with their ridiculous claims about our Navy being smaller now than in 1916.
Broadly stated, our measure of state naval power is based on a state’s total number of warships (non-fighting ships are excluded) and each ship’s available firepower. To make comparisons over time, our annual measure is based on available firepower within the international system in that year. (For more information, see our paper here.)
In 1916, the US controlled roughly 11% of the world’s naval power. This is an impressive number that ranks the US third in naval strength behind the UK (34%) and Germany (19%), and just ahead of France (10%). What about the US navy in 2011? In 2011, the US controlled roughly 50% of the world’s naval power putting it in a comfortable lead in naval power ahead of Russia (11%).
So the Navy today is not only 5X more powerful than it was in 1916, relative to the technology of the day, but it’s also 5X more powerful than the next closest nation. They’re just plain lying.