Wednesday, November 16, 2016
CSBA's plan. Some good. Some awful. Some rehashing what's already being done.
Everyone is talking and writing me e-mails about CSBA's plan for the Marine Corps with the new administration. I'm still digesting the thing (and you can read it for yourself over at AOL Breaking Defense and War on the Rocks Blog) but to me it seems like we're seeing alot more of the same that's being planned for, a few (very few) good ideas and some awful ones.
Someone must have either been hearing my rants or great minds think alike. I've been screaming about adding another ship to the MEU, renaming it a Reinforced MEU and having that ship focus on carrying more artillery, AAV/ACV and tanks as well as an additional Infantry Company. CSBA is proposing the same but with a view toward "leveraging aviation". From what I've read they don't give a damn about adding more force to the Ground Combat Element. Its just a scheme to increase the number of F-35's on the big deck by moving helicopters to the additional ship.
They're actually calling for MANY more F-35's. They don't even know if the damn thing will work. They don't know the real level of maintenance required and if the Wing as currently designed can handle the additional workload. They don't know the final price for the thing but they're calling for more aircraft. Simply amazing. I wonder if Lockheed Martin is sponsoring this think tank?
Rehashing what's being done.
They talk alot about adding long range firepower to amphibs and I get the impression that the idea of doing raids against enemy A2/AD installations are also part of the plan. No biggee there. Its already being considered, planned for and worked on.
I find it funny that the idea of doing the hard work of rolling back enemy defenses is a non-starter with this crowd. Everyone wants to do it easy but there is no such thing. Additionally I find it interesting that so many realize the vulnerability of ships to anti-ship missiles but believe that the MV-22 with 24 Marines in the back will be able to slip by a networked anti-air complex.
Its really all irrelevant. What matters isn't the think tank crowd. Not with this administration. Trump isn't part of the elite so the think tanks don't have their claws into him. They'll have to sell this idea and sell it hard for people to do an about face. Oh and one last thing. That third offset is about to die a well deserved death. If Hillary had won then we would be locked into a future direction for our forces. Now we have a chance to reassess and decide where we go. This CSBA report is an option but I don't think its the right one.