Well I can agree with that only if the Allies are preventing Italy from achieving NOs. Sure, if Italy pours all its income into carriers that's pretty inefficient purchasing and maybe its better to let the fleet stand. But honestly if Axis is going to put fighters on those carriers I wouldn't mind buying even more bombers as USA and bagging the whole shebang.
My theory is if the Western Axis are putting money into defensive naval units, it would probably be best for the Allies to get very aggressive with land units. This would probably lead to a more unified fleet, rather than UK up north and the US down south.
It is kind of seen as a window of opportunity to put as much pressure on France as possible while simultaneously being able to double hit one Axis capital. If the Axis put money into a defensive fleet that can be succefully ignored, you may as well ignore it. It would mean the Axis wasted money on a unit that does next to nothing for them. My guess would be that the Axis power that would buy the naval unit essentially just volunteers itself for the Allied SBR campaign to exploit their purchass even more.
Let's say Italy decides to build a Destroyer. The Allies would then Unify the fleet on Algeria and open their SBR campaign against Italy. Italy would probably not be able to move the fleet due to fear of invasion, they would be lacking in ground units, and France would be threatend.
To be fair though this would not be as amplified as Axis Carrier builds. I think that is something that the Allies could really exploit. Ex: if Germany bought a carrier, it just spent 1/2 of it's T1 income on a unit that can not attack/bombard/and without an airplane it only defends at 2 and is only good for expensive fodder if it attacks; this seems like something the Allies could use to their advantage by simply ignoring it and SBR Germany while putting heavy pressure on France from algeria quickly, while once again double threatening Italy. The Allied fleet is maintained, it has a better chance at holding France sooner because of a unified fleet (which allows more land units to be built) and Germany would be lacking the ground/air units she would normally build due to the Carrier build/SBRing.
It's not that I think there is never a reason to build Axis naval units, I would just rather wait until after US1 to decide if I wanted to build ships or not. Even if my Allied strat is completley wrong, I don't think there is much reason to build naval units for the Western Axis T1. And even if one insists on a naval build it should probably be a more aggressive ship. A Cruiser allows for land bombardments at least. Subs can be clever builds too I suppose. Like I said, even if I am dead wrong, I can't shake the feeling that defensive T1 fleet builds by the Western should be something an Allied player could somehow exploit.
And as far as keeping 10 Italian NO's, can you? What goes on in Egypt/ Central Asia is probably one of the bigger variables of the game. But as far as T1 or even T2 is concerned I don't see Italy having 10 NO's a forgone conclusion in the early stages of the game. A UK stack in Persia, a UK1 counter attack on a German Egy, A UK1 Attack on Libya, Germany not attacking Egy G1, Russian tank/air/inf counter attacks on R2 are all very real possabilities. That coupled with quick unified pressure would keep Italian movement greatly mitigated. Also note that the UK may be able to afford sending her 3-4 ships worth of gear towards Egypt every turn while the US just builds up an invading force, making it impossible for Italy to do anything of note in Africa, even with a navy. The UK force could then continue to head towards India/Persia/Cauc making the marching forces still very relevant and useful.
And yes, I have played against such builds, and have won and lost against them. I most certainly have not played any 1 strat with much consistancy though to show any empirical evidence. Which is odd considering I have probably played around 30-50 games of the Aniversery edition.