via Real Clear Defense...
With such large cuts facing the US military as a whole and the Army in particular, it surprised me that the Army’s vision for the future included a major section on expeditionary forces and scalability.Here.
The Marine Corps, in its planning document, Expeditionary Force 21, presents itself as the nation’s “middleweight force.” Indeed, the Corps is exactly that. Unfortunately, to a large extent, so does the Army. The Army Vision describes the unique capabilities of the Army very well: “Consolidate strategic gains,” “integrate operations,” “enable sustained operations,” “operate among populations.” Those are indeed the core competencies of the Army; especially consolidate strategic gains, which the Vision describes the Army as “the Nation’s means to seize and hold territory and consolidate gains.” Seizing and holding territory is the reason we have an army.
When the Army Vision discusses the exact characteristics of the Army needed to achieve those capabilities, it spends a majority of its text discussing the agile, expeditionary, scalable, and flexible nature of the force. If those sound familiar, that’s because those exact words were already used in the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Force 21.
It appears that the Army has seen the results of the Pacific Pivot. Its emphasis on rapidly deployable crisis response units was to the relative benefit of the Marine Corps. The lesson the Army drew was not that the Marine Corps was filling that need for the country and that its niche should be to provide a different type of land power. Rather, the Army learned that the Marine Corps was making out like a bandit in the whole expeditionary business and that she’d better get a piece of that action.
Of course the Army has always had a key role in crisis response with such units as its special operations forces and its airborne forces. Having a portion of the Army devoted to non-maritime rapid deployment makes sense, and is complementary to the capabilities of the Marine Corps (NOTE FROM SNAFU!--I've been harping on this for a long time...we'll know that Army leadership is serious when they workout the 82nd with our Marine Expeditionary Units).
However, the nation already has a Marine Corps devoted almost in its entirety to expeditionary operations. The active-duty Army is already reduced to barely twice the size of the Corps, with significantly more manpower devoted to institutional overhead. Devoting more than a subset of designated forces to such duties is not the optimum task organization for U.S. landpower as a whole. Large parts of the Army are becoming a Marine Corps, but without ships to carry them. The Army needs to focus on heavy forces and the long war.
EXTREMELY WELL SAID BROTHER! But this will fall on deaf ears. The Army has been trying to be a "Marine Corps" since the Korean War. For a service with such a glorious history they're remarkably jealous of the standing that the Marine Corps has with the American public (we're pissing it away but that's a discussion for another day).
To make Army Infantry and Armored Division into a quasi-expeditionary force will see them fail horribly on the battlefield.
This Marine just body slammed the Army's vision of its future.
Sidenote: To all my readers that happen to be Soldiers don't get offended and for God's sake please don't pull out some fucking AR manual. Just deal with the reality and fix yourselves!