|An artist conception of a Zumwalt in action.|
However, with the US questioning its forward deployments throughout the world and cutting budgets, does it make sense for the Navy to dump $7 billion into battleships? Probably not, especially since the US can consider other strategies to maintain its dominance of the global commons.
In 1911, Julian Corbett, a British naval historian, published Some Principles of Maritime Strategy. While Corbett, like Mahan, believed that the global commons were the economic lifelines of states, he did not think large fleets were necessary for their control. Instead, Corbett believed navies could control the waves by building small, mobile ships that could conduct guerre de course, or war against the merchantmen of enemies. Sinking an enemy's merchant fleet would destroy his economy and halt his ability to wage war. The French utilized guerre de course tactics against the British in the Napoleonic Wars, as did the Germans with their U-boats in World War I and II. Indeed, the US Navy sunk the Japanese merchant fleet during World War II utilizing submarine tactics.
While it's debatable which theory is more effective (Convoys defeated German U-boats, but not US submarines), if the US wishes to draw down its forces and cut military spending, adopting Corbett's theory and a guerre de course strategy would be most effective. Instead of spending $7 billion on new battleships that may be prone to capsizing, it should build up its submarine and light littoral attack forces. Doing so would not only guarantee US dominance of the seas for the foreseeable future, but also allow the US to draw back from its expensive forward position.