Thursday, April 29, 2021

Time for some rebranding...New mission means new names...

The Marine Corps needs to do a bit of rebranding to highlight its new and diminished role.

Step one has already taken place.

Marine Littoral Regiment.

Awesome.  But that's just the beginning.

Up and down the organization we need to see the changes.  Marine Littoral Battalion...that's a given.  Marine Rifle Squad?  No longer applicable.  How about Marine Littoral Defense Squad.  Marine Artillery Battalion?  Nope.  Just don't sing. Marine Missile and cannon (small "c") Littoral Battalion.

Marine Air Wing?  Naw.  Marine Naval Integrated Littoral Support Force providing support to allied warfighters (MNILSFAW).

Motto?  That's also easy.  America's Force In Readiness?  That is old skool.  Most ready when the nation is least?  Naw.  That's for a different force now. America's 911?  Are you kidding me?

We really don't even have to think about this.  The Commandant has been saying it for all to hear.

The USMC (they really need to drop that name because it no longer applies) we are "AMERICA'S STAND IN FORCE"!

That sings!  No one knows what the fuck it means but its what leadership says the Marine Corps is now.

What amazes me is how he answered (or appeared to the uninformed to answer) our many complaints. via Military Review Online.

The notion that maritime reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance might become a major role or mission for the Marine Corps has predictably generated some counterarguments. One of these, heard frequently both within and outside the Marine Corps, is the idea that our service’s identity is tied to the forcible entry mission or the amphibious assault. Closely related to that criticism is the notion that our service must maintain a strictly offensive character—that our tradition as “amphibious shock troops” is one to which we are somehow immutably bound. Finally, there is the idea that recasting that part of the Marine Corps that will source the stand-in force to focus on maritime reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance will focus us exclusively on the demands of a single threat in a single theater and compromise our ability to perform our broader enduring role as a globally employable naval expeditionary force in readiness.

These critiques are serious. Taking on the maritime reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance mission would entail an adjustment for the Marine Corps, with implications for certain aspects of our doctrine, force structure, and associated budget. The critics deserve equally serious answers to their concerns, which I will try to provide here in brief.

The issue of “service identity” is particularly troubling, as it can become an obstacle to the kind of innovative thinking we need to keep pace with a changing world. Marine Corps roles and even basic force structure are codified in law; 10 U.S.C. § 5063 prescribes a Marine Corps focused primarily on the “seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign” and structured as “forces of combined arms” organized in three combat divisions and three aircraft wings.14 Statutes, however, codify what has been, and they evolve as new situations and requirements present themselves. The Marine Corps has traditionally been quite agile in navigating such change, and we are consequently fond of referencing our historical role in major military innovations such as the development of amphibious doctrine in the interwar period and of heliborne vertical envelopment in the early Cold War.15 We are justifiably proud of our historical accomplishments, and a certain amount of conservatism in military thinking helps counter the risk of infatuation with overly deterministic or otherwise misguided visions of future war. But at a certain point, conservatism can crystallize into a static mentality that becomes an obstacle to necessary change. Our service identity is inextricably linked to our historical record of innovation and adaptation. At several points in our history, the Marines have managed to develop a vision of future war accurate enough to allow the timely development of capabilities that proved to be essential enablers to the prosecution of naval and joint campaigns. We did not, for example, conduct the iconic amphibious operations of the Second World War purely for the sake of conducting amphibious operations—those operations enabled naval forces to secure land bases or eliminate those of the adversary in support of an overarching naval campaign. Ultimately, as we neared the home islands of Japan, the rationale for the seizure of bases in the Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa became directly linked to a larger joint campaign; airfields on these islands were essential to the Army Air Corps in their campaign against Japanese war industry. We should keep this history in mind as we think about amphibious operations or any other form of maneuver. These concepts are tools in a kit that we must be willing to adjust over time.

Closely related to critiques based on service identity is a concern that focusing on maritime reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance might somehow compromise our essentially offensive service ethos. As our basic doctrine for warfighting reminds us, a general bias toward action is essential, and at the appropriate level of war, a bias for the positive aim, the offensive action, is warranted. The maritime reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance mission, as the naval concept of “screening” suggests, is in no sense a matter of merely passive sensing or observation. The purpose of a reconnaissance and security force is to fight for information. Successful accomplishment of that mission has always required an operationally sophisticated balance of prudent observation and savagely aggressive action to force enemy commitment and reveal disposition. Performing this function for the Navy and the joint force is entirely consistent with a warfighting philosophy that counsels us to “orient on the enemy,” uncover their “surfaces and gaps,” to disrupt their decision-making cycle, gain dominance in operational tempo, and ultimately “penetrate the system, tear it apart, and … destroy the isolated components.”16 The ability to do this, which a well-designed stand-in force will be well postured to provide, is an essential enabler for naval and joint force commanders in multi-domain competition in the contact and blunt layers.

Finally, the idea that a maritime reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance role for the Marine Corps reflects a myopic focus on a single threat or theater; in this case, the PRC in the western Pacific is rooted in a concern that commitment to this role could render us unready for the range of demands we may face as a forward-deployed naval expeditionary force. This is a legitimate concern, and we need to guard against it. There is no question that as a naval expeditionary force in readiness, the Marine Corps is a key element of the Nation’s ability to manage the risk of crises and contingencies involving the full global range of expected and unexpected threats. It would indeed be foolish to overspecialize to a degree that would compromise that capability. I am confident that we are managing that risk effectively. A portion of the risk has been assumed by higher authority given the basic conclusions of current strategy regarding great-power competition. This guidance identifies the PRC as the pacing threat and directs the Marine Corps to take certain actions in response. Service action in response to such prioritization is in no sense optional, and I have guided our actions accordingly. Additionally, given the long-standing trends and realities of the twenty-first-century operating environment, it is likely that military operations in general will be increasingly subject to the constraints imposed by the rapidly proliferating precision strike regime. A stand-in force able to persist inside an adversary WEZ and perform reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance tasks in the contact and blunt layers will be useful to naval and joint commanders in a wide variety of theaters. Winning the hider-finder contest will be critical, no matter where we are on the globe.

Read his "rationale" for making the ENTIRE MARINE CORPS into the eyes of the warfighters in the rest of the DoD. 

Ya know what pisses me off the most in this?  Reading between the lines when he says that "a portion of the risk has been assumed by higher authority" means that the Army told the SecDef that they got it (ground combat) and if Berger wanted to jack up the Marine Corps they were good with it.


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