The relatively similar size of the fleet today compared to World War I, traditionally a topic for naval buffs and military historians, is now a flashpoint in the presidential campaign, with Republican nominee Mitt Romney trumpeting the comparison as evidence that President Obama has allowed American naval strength to dangerously erode. While several naval specialists said the comparison Romney is making is analytically unhelpful because the capacity of such ships today is so superior, some retired admirals contend the tally matters.
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