Take a good look at the image above. You're looking at a shanty town outside of one of the world's mega cities. Why are we looking at this potentially grim battlefield? Because of this headline from Military.com.
Company- and field-grade officers are rehashing a major effort: Operation Littoral Resolve, the largest integrated naval force operation since the 1950 Battle of Inchon during the Korean War.Has the Marine Corps become so wedded to an idea that they can't see the flaws and pitfalls? Do they not see the dangers here? Do they really believe that Expeditionary Squads can do what Battalions and Regiments can't? Do they really think that those squads and Special Ops bubas will survive in this type of environment?
It's never made clear where this fictional offensive takes place, but the officers in the scenario describe operations in a dense coastal city, during which Marines must monitor social media patterns to get a sense of who's friendly and how to interact with the population.
In this world, drones are everywhere providing real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, various Marine Corps elements from dispersed small infantry elements to special operations teams to coastal riverine elements integrate seamlessly, and the emerging technology of today features prominently in the fight.
"Working from our F-35 feeds, we sent up our [unmanned aircraft system] killers to take out their crew-served positions and command posts," a Marine expeditionary unit company commander reports in the debrief, referring to the new Joint Strike Fighter. "The mortar section got fire capped and was able to drop precision rounds right where the squad leaders told us to put 'em. They tapped the app and had rounds on target."
Futuristic, yes, but also an educated projection of what fights 10 years from now will look like, according to the 32-page Marine Corps Operating Concept released Wednesday.
If they do then the Marine Corps is lost.
Mark my words. The seeds of our future defeat are being planted now.