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The Boston Globe

Nation

Navy’s numbers far from the whole story

Debate focused on fleet size, but makeup is key

WASHINGTON — Nearly a century ago, during World War I, the US Navy had a fleet of about 245 ships. Today it is 282.

The relatively similar size of the fleet, 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.

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