Monday, March 25, 2019

Damn! Someone actually did it! Someone called for MARSOC to be disbanded!

If the Marine Corps is serious about getting ready to take on a near-peer enemy like China in the future, then it's time to fold its 13-year-old special operations command and apply those resources elsewhere.

At least that's the argument one retired Marine officer made this week while presenting ways the service can better prepare for large-scale naval operations – and it's causing quite a stir in the Marine Corps special operations community.

Dakota Wood, who worked as a strategist at Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command from 2012-2013, released a 60-page report on Thursday titled "Rebuilding America's Military: The United States Marine Corps." It was published by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank where Wood serves as senior research fellow for defense programs.

Facing relentless operational tempo and ongoing budget woes, the Marine Corps should reevaluate where it's spending resources, Wood writes. As part of that effort, he said service leaders should "strongly consider disestablishing [MARSOC]."

"It's a great outfit and they're doing great things, so this is not to disparage MARSOC," Wood told "It's stepping back and saying, 'OK, Marine Corps, what are you supposed to be doing? And how are you using the resources that you have?'"

Wood's call to disband the command comes after the Marine Corps released its 2020 budget request, revealing plans to increase the number of MARSOC billets. But the 2,700 Marines already assigned to MARSOC do more to benefit U.S. Special Operations Command than they do the Marine Corps, Wood wrote.

"The Corps' commitment to MARSOC, while a boon to SOCOM and the good work it does for the country, is an opportunity cost for the Corps and the work that only it can do, as opposed to SOCOM's role and the contributions long made to its mission by the Army, Navy and Air Force," he said.
Story here. 

Just plain wow.

Never in a trillion years did I think someone would actually do it, much less Dakota.

This is a conversation that should have been had LONG ago.  To expect a force of 175K (or a bit more...don't know the end strength now) to produce 3 battalions of Special Ops personnel was batshit stupid but to be expected from Rumsfeld.

Now with a looming fight against a peer force on the horizon someone is looking at personnel issues and coming to a basic conclusion.

The USMC is too small to contribute to least as a ground force.

In my estimation we could more easily contribute aviation assets (maybe a squadron or two of MV-22s...along with an F-35B section) to augment the 160th (who would pay for penetration package for the MV-22 would be problematic) or maybe just act as support in the tilt rotor community for the Air Force limited number of MV-22s (although I hear they're not the preferred ride of SOCOM units) much like the US Navy once had a dedicated rotary winged SOCOM unit...but I don't know if that would "fly" either.

The point is simple.

We can expect the MARSOC (and to a degree the aviation centric mafia) to fight back hard.  They won't even want the conversation.  But it must be had.

The solution is simple.  Disband MARSOC.  Its not in the best interest of the USMC, the Army could more easily raise another Ranger Battalion and the personnel could simply transfer service to that unit (those that want SOCOM more than the Marines).

The real pushback will come from Marine Officers (sorry Noble, Frazier and others) that want to punch their ticket doing a bit of SOCOM time before the next promotion board.

Either way the point remains.

It's past time for the USMC to have the discussion about disbanding SOCOM.

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