The U.S., long focused on distractions, has ignored China's subtle military rise. Or, even if it has not ignored China, it has not done enough to call China out in the military realm.
I worry that our common perception, overconfident in our bluewater naval superiority in the form of carrier groups, runs parallel to our over reliance and focus on battleships at the opening of World War II...when we quickly learned that new technologies rendered them somewhat obsolete. Thankfully the U.S. had the new technologies on hand, recognized them, and utilized them effectively in short order.
As a country, we need to focus on addressing the "next aircraft carrier" game changing factor out there instead of resting comfortably on our own carriers as the end-all-be-all in naval and military predominance of the Pacific.