And the war that would come soon after.
Blood In the Water: The Horror That Would Be a Sinking U.S. Navy Carrier
Perhaps more importantly, such an attack might give U.S. policymakers (who have historically been more casualty-averse than the U.S. public) pause over the costs and benefits of the intervention.
Since the 1950s, the supercarrier has been the most visible representation of U.S. military power and maritime hegemony. Although supercarriers have participated in nearly every military conflict since the commissioning of USS Forrestal in 1955, no carrier has come under determined attack from a capable opponent. In part, this is because supercarriers are very difficult to attack, but the symbolic grandeur of the massive ships also plays a role; no one wants to know what the United States might do if one of its carriers came under attack.
(This first appeared several months ago.)
What would happen if a foe attacked a United States Navy (USN) aircraft carrier during a conflict? How would the United States react, and how would it respond?