Escort vs Light Carrier.

I would think that his implication of a submarine role for the CVE was more for strikes in backwater systems and such, where one would never expect a carrier.
Sabre said:
Well, CVEs were built for escorting convoys against submarines. . .and since it's hard to have a sub in space. . .*shrug*

Must... not... make... space... sub... comment...
Or you could argue that everything is a sub in space, or else would be too vulnerable to attack. But I fear attracting the attention of the SWACS fanboys again, who seemed to have settled into a quiet ceasefire.

As for Confed not having economic superiority: yes, it probably wasn't quite as bad as the US vs. Japan, where the US could bring immeasurable quantities of death and destruction against the limited resources of Japan, but the US was also fighting Hitler in Europe at the same time (with a little help from its friends).

We know from the novels that pre-WC3 Confed had a significant economic advantage over the Kilrathi, which would have likely won the war except for the false peace. This period of economic superiority is when the escort carrier concept (according to Forstchen) really took off. I don't think I've read the WC3 novelization (I only got the WC4 novelization by accident), but I get the impression that the escort carriers continued to play a significant role after the Battle of Earth, but were unable to stem the tide. I think all of this is further evidence for an economic argument for the ships.