Many nations are building them for precisely this reason. They are multi-role vessels, giving more bang for the buck, able to conduct Sea Control, Limited close air support, air assault, amphibious assault, and significant humanitarian support in advancement of the respective nation's national interests.These ships are certainly cost effective means of providing carrier capability, for less money, and oftentimes in a more appropriate manner for today's low intensity conflicts.
Actually, between the Falklands war in 1982 and the AU assault on Comoros in 2008, there have been several other ignificant uses of these vessels.But I have to wonder, will these ships ever be used for what they were truly designed for? Will we ever see a large scale amphibious operation onto hostile territory ever again? The closest only time it's happened in the last several decades was the Falklands, and I suppose the AU assault on that island in the Comoros. Although that doesn't really count :nana:.
1983 - Operation Urgent Fury in Granada by the USS (USS Guam)
1989 - Operation Just Cause in Panama by the US (US Marine support by helo)
1991 - Operation Desert Strom in Kuwait and Iraq, the US used a huge amphibious demonstration of over 40 amphibious vessels (the largest such force since Inchon in Korea) to hold in place 6 Iraqi divisions to guard against an amphibious invasion while the main thrust occured on land.
2003 - Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. USS LHA and LHD and UK vessels vessels supported the operation throughout, including the USMC and UK amphibious air assault of Al Faw peninsula as the first conventrional attack of the war.
There may be more by other nations, but these are some of the ones I am familiar with.
I believe the days of the possibility for the need of both air assault of the decks of such vessels and amphibious assault from their well decks are not over. Many nations agree because they are building many, many such vessels with this capability all around the world.
To the extent that the possession of such capabilities deters their use...perhaps we can all hope and pray that this in fact becomes the case.