Our group was wondering the same thing and came to the same conclusion. In the new 1942 game I had a massive multinational allied fleet in SZ 12 including 3 russian subs of all things. Facing it was a fleet in SZ 14 consisting of a Jap and german battleship/loaded carrier combo along with 6 u-boats. It was in interesting situation, neither could attack the combined enemy with a divided attack force. From SZ 14 the axis could hit Moscow landing on an occupied eastern province with air power or SZ 17,18, 11, 9, 8 with the assumption the fighter(s) would land on a victorious carrier that single handedly destroyed a fleet of 4 CV, 8 FTR, 4 DD, 6 SS, 1 BB and 2 CC. It meant using a fair bit of capital ship resources to escort straggling/special mission transport fleets or hoping in vain he would trade a ftr and cv for 1 or 2 transports.
I could have used the Yanks earlier to clear the enemy in SZ 14 but early I required a long shuck train starting on the US seaboard, Canada, algeria and across the top of Africa into persia to guarantee control of africa and to overwhelm the 2 german transport shuck operation into Africa. I had enough fleet to defend, the Japs were trapped and would have put my america to africa shuck out of position.