Friday, June 26, 2020

The questionable future of amphibious assault

via Brookings Institute.
The Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General David Berger, has just declared the obsolescence of large-scale amphibious assault. It is almost as if John Madden had just said that in the NFL, it will no longer be important to run the football.

General Berger has been the nation’s top Marine, and a member of the joint chiefs of staff, since 2019. Last summer, he issued planning guidance that suggested strongly that the Marine Corps should move away from building so many large amphibious ships, citing their vulnerability to precision-guided weapons. However, that proposal will not necessarily carry the day; Congress gets to write defense appropriations bills, and ultimately all President Trump can do is either sign or veto.

But it was still probably the single most interesting new idea in last year’s defense debate, building on the earlier overall national defense strategy of Secretary of Defense James Mattis to revitalize the nation’s attention to deterrence of great-power conflict in this high-technology era — a strategy that Secretary Mark Esper has subsequently said he will continue to seek to implement.

Now, General Berger has gone a step further. In the latest Marine Corps Gazette, he writes the following:

A focus on a pacing threat that is both a maritime power and a nuclear power eliminates entirely the salience of large-scale forcible entry operations followed by sustained operations ashore. Such operations are problematic even in the case of the lesser rogue regime threats, as both of those identified in the NDS [National Defense Strategy] are also either nuclear or near-nuclear powers.
Story here. 


This right here!!!!

This is why I was so alarmed at the pronouncement by Berger.  This is why I've hit up Marine Corps Officers on Twitter to explain this new concept but got ignored instead.

The guy that leads our tribe has basically declared the Marine Corps obsolete.

Not an enemy.

Not a rival service.

But the leader of the United States Marine Corps!

How can the Corps survive when it pigeon holes itself into a mission that can be conducted by a few detachments from the US Army?

How can the Corps be considered as essential when it limits itself to being a bitched up Ranger Battalion?

This plan HOPEFULLY will not survive Congress.  If it doesn't the Marine Corps will once again be saved from itself.  BUT if it does then this generation of Generals will not only have lost three wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria...we'll not grade the situation in Africa and Libya) but they'll also have accomplished Eisenhower's goal.  The destruction of the United States Marine Corps.

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