A carrier is "armed" with:
16â€“24 Ã— Sea Sparrow or NATO Sea Sparrow missiles
3 or 4 Ã— Phalanx CIWSs or RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles.
Both of which are missile and short-range ship defense systems.
Unless you think a bunch of planes are going to "invade" a small country. Very few of which have any anti-ship or anti-sub capabilities. Hence the point of it having a CBG.
Not to mention that its "armor" is kevlar over vital areas. Not exactly Neutronium plating.
And, aside from that this is a completely different branch of the military from the "grunts", in the context of the United States military, what is more important?
Having incremental improvements with an enormous implementation cost (one for every soldier, etc.) or the ability to police countries. You give a few hundred thousand guys a new gun, whooptie.
You point the Fifth Fleet somewhere, people stop fighting and start listening.
Those hundred or so aircraft are all the anti-air/sea it needs really. JDams, X-Set missiles, air to surface, miniguns, Sidwinders, etc.
Plus a boat load of systems/weapons that are classified. That wiki wouldn't even know.
How did they fight sea battles in WWII in the pacific? Get carriers in range and have the aircraft destroy all the ships. The number one priority was to down the carrier, before anything else.