Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No More Storming Beaches for the USMC

"...The Marines have not stormed a hostile beach since Inchon during the Korean War. And influential military thinkers — including, most notably, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates — have begun to question whether the Marines will ever do it again.

In a speech last month, Gates said rogue nations and nonstate movements such as Hezbollah now possessed sophisticated guided missiles that could destroy naval ships, forcing them to stay well away from shore and making any sort of beach landing by Marines extremely dangerous...

But many Marines believe the ability to conduct amphibious landings is what makes them different. Take away their unique characteristics, and you take away the Marines' reason for being.

Even if such amphibious landings are eliminated, the Marines still have a different approach to warfare. In counter-insurgency campaigns, for example, Marines often try to degrade militant groups, while the Army focuses on protecting the civilian population..." (source)

I'm just a civilian, but it sounds like Gates might have unwittingly gotten himself into a position where he could be asked to redefine the mission of the United States Marine Corps (that's CORE Mr. President) and how they'll be a different fighting force than the Army... Given the conversations that have taken place on this site alone --the pride that Marine's have in their unique skill sets and abilities and the quick rebuttal of those proclaimed skills by other branches...this decision by the OSD and the DoD could make for some interesting discussions...

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