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11bee

Big Changes for the Marines

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I hope they train for biological attacks as well because we are kind of experiencing one😷

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Short On Pilots, Marines Debate Size Of F-35 Fleet
“Our continued inability to build and sustain an adequate inventory of F-35 pilots leads me to conclude that we must be pragmatic regarding our ability to support" the program," Gen. David Berger says in a blunt new 10-year force design plan.
By PAUL MCLEARY on March 27, 2020 at 1:50 PM
WASHINGTON: The Marine Corps’ inability to recruit enough pilots has led the commandant to question the F-35’s place in the already budget-constrained Corps’ future plans, a potentially huge shift for the service that first fielded the Joint Strike Fighter and fought harder than any other service to build it and buy it.

“Our continued inability to build and sustain an adequate inventory of F-35 pilots leads me to conclude that we must be pragmatic regarding our ability to support” the program,” Gen. David Berger says in a blunt new 10-year force design plan. He calls for an external assessment of the aircraft’s place within the service relative to what he’s being asked to do in the National Defense Strategy and the forthcoming Joint Warfighting Concept, a document the Joint Staff is expected to wrap up later this year.

Berger not only singles out pilot shortfalls, but also notes high costs of maintaining and flying the F-35B as factors he’s weighing “in reconciling the growing disparity between numbers of platforms and numbers of aircrew.”
The general has been very clear he does not expect his annual budgets to grow at any point in the near future, suggesting the best case scenario is that they remain flat as he wrestles with fleets of aging planes, helicopters and vehicles which grow increasingly costly to maintain.

The new document also makes it clear Berger has had enough of the service’s Abrams tanks, which were so effective in Iraq’s Anbar province, but offer little utility on small islands in the Pacific. A series of wargames conducted between 2018 and 2019 led the Corps to the conclusion that the tanks are “operationally unsuitable for our highest-priority challenges in the future,” the document states.

While questioning time-tested and iconic weapons like Abrams tanks, and the massive capabilities that the F-35 can bring, “they’re looking at the totality of the force” said Dakota Wood, senior research fellow for defense programs at The Heritage Foundation. “Berger has been very bold in saying we just can’t afford to have small batches of everything,” so he has set out on a path to bear down on what is most critical to fighting a war in the Pacific against a modern Chinese military.
The new force design is slated to phase in over the next decade, but the changes will be seen as early as the fiscal year 2022 budget, slated to drop next February.

That gives the Marines months to build their case for reimagining the force, which includes buying new capabilities like mobile rocket artillery and long-range fires while scrapping legacy platforms like heavy- and medium-helicopter squadrons and towed artillery. The plan also calls for eliminating law enforcement units, bridging companies, three infantry battalions, and anti-aircraft units.

General Dynamics, which makes the Abrams, and Lockheed Martin, which produces the F-35, will certainly have opinions on these moves, as will the other major prime contractors who build the helicopters and ground vehicles and artillery systems to be tossed over the side and the lawmakers who have plants in their states and districts.
“Resistance to change is likely to be strongest for programs that already exist and have stakeholders that support them,” RAND analyst Jonathan Wong wrote in a short essay, but the jury is out on how Congress and Defense Secretary Mark Esper will eventually weigh in on these issues.
It’s not just industry who will want in on these discussions, but policymakers in the Pentagon and lawmakers on the Hill, as well.
“There’s going to be a lot of pushback by people who aren’t up to speed on these current issues who are reaching back to their own previous references of 10, 20, 30, years ago,” Wood said. “Tanks are awesome in urban warfare environments, but if you haven’t thought about the operating environment the Marine Corps will encounter in the near future, these ideas might be difficult to understand.”
Berger appears to be keenly aware he needs to bring the rest of Washington along with him: “A certain degree of institutional change is inevitable when confronting modernization on this scale, and that type of change is hard.”
How hard will become clearer as Berger and his deputies get out there to evangelize for their vision of the future.

 

 

 

 

Pilots hate him! Learn this crazy trick for fixing pilot and personnel issues

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20 hours ago, Whiskey said:

 

13 years in with plenty of friends that had a screaming chicken on their right shoulder and never heard of that term either.

 

I always thought of them as fools for the longest time because from my observations they bit off more than they could chew, at least the commanders would. Kinda like the Marines. Had a friend that was with the 101 unit depicted in the movie "The Hornet's Nest." More or less reinforced my opinion of them.

that term started in WWII, and sorta died out. Then came to life again in the sixties. Saw it again in ODS

gary

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20 hours ago, 11bee said:

I saw a movie ages ago (Hambuger Hill?) where someone referred to the 101st as the “Army’s Marines”.   Not sure that was meant as a compliment.  

 

I have heard the Germans refer to the 101st as "American SS", and always thought that interesting; When Tet came in 68 there were some elements of the 101st in I-Corp, but also scattered here and there. At Hue they created a spear head with the 1st Air Cav and a Regiment of the 101st coming in from two directions. The Marines started just south of the Perfume River and head north. Most camera footage is from the town on the south bank of the river. There were 101st elements inside Hue proper, and most folks don't know that.

The big ticket for the 101st was Cholon and the Race Track. There were a lot of folks involved with Cholon besides the 101st, and was strictly house to house. The Race Track pretty much ate up a battalion itself when it was finally captured. After Tet wound down, there was a complete revision of I-Corp. A new mechanized infantry unit came in, and the 1st Air Cav came in force. The dead center of the northern half was handed over to the 101st, and we  watched their A.O. grow by the day. Then it was on into the Ashau Valley. With regular Army units moving north on the border. The Ashau was probably the toughest place to live on earth. Never been in it, but got to within two or three klick south of it on an OP the 101st. A classic light infantry verses light infantry combat. Watch all sorts of battles evolve out of nothing the day prior. Saw Hill 235 (you'll find little on that jewel) onto the place and that place in there. Then we get Hill 927. Some colonel sent his boys in there and they promptly made serious contact. Then he decided to sweep the mountain. The movie is kinda accurate but also deals with just one company. I will often drink a little hooch with a guy who made it to the top. It was tough, but so was the race track and Cholon. 

Then we move on to Rip Cord and a few other garden spots. Rip Cord was just as tough in other ways. Main thing about Rip Cord was the length of time involved. One could write a multi volume book about the Ashau Valley alone starting with A102 and Bennie Adkins and go right thru to 1972 I guess. 

       Myself, I spent most of my time in the Que Son Valley and the Hiep Duc Ridge, but did OP's with many of the big players here and there. The Valley was tough, but I think the Hiep Duc was tougher. The Lao border was interesting in many ways. Any thing you had, they had. The landscape was horrible, and the only way to go anywhere was via chopper. And to add to this nightmare was the weather and things that would bite a big chunk out of you. Still it was home (still is for Donnie), I often longed for the flat lands, but this was the hand delt to me. Everywhere you went somebody had it rough, and some much rougher. I have no regrets with my adventure, but they can put the ticket where the sun don't shine if the wanta do it over. I did one do over, and that was one too many!

gary

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Excellent perspective Gary. Thanks for sharing that bit. 

 

 

Maybe we should start a new sub-forum or topic...... War stories?

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4 hours ago, ChesshireCat said:

I have no regrets with my adventure, but they can put the ticket where the sun don't shine if the wanta do it over. I did one do over, and that was one too many!


Thanks for sharing. I turned 18 in ‘74 right before the pullout so I didn’t get called up but I had several friends in college who made it back. They didn’t want to talk about their experience and I knew better than to ask. 

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On 3/28/2020 at 9:18 AM, 11bee said:

Anyone see the proposed changes to restructure the Marines from primarily a conventional role (basically an amphibious US Army with internal air support) to a sea / area denial force primarily aimed at the Pacific region?

 

No more tanks, most heavy artillery gone, cuts to infantry, helos and F-35's.  Big focus on long range precision missiles and anti-ship weapons.   

 

Maybe instead of Devil Dogs, we'll have to call them "Rocket Men"?

 

 https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/32703/marines-to-radically-remodel-force-cutting-tanks-howitzers-in-favor-of-drones-missiles

 

 

 

 

If you have time, google candp marines and start reading their concepts specifically LOCE and EABO. Also, google JADC2. Should give you a flavor of what's to come.

 

Depending on how currents events unfold, things may change. 

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1 hour ago, fulcrum1 said:

If you have time, google candp marines and start reading their concepts specifically LOCE and EABO. Also, google JADC2. Should give you a flavor of what's to come.

 

Depending on how currents events unfold, things may change. 

I gave it a (very) quick skim.   Will read more later.

 

Interesting stuff but still leaves me with concerns when it appears the Marines are completing exiting certain fields, such as armor.   The US historically hasn't be very good at forecasting what the next war is going to be like.  Hope these guys get it right, not like you can reconstitute an armor branch on the fly.

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1 hour ago, 11bee said:

Hope these guys get it right, not like you can reconstitute an armor branch on the fly.

 

Army lost all of that capability when they deactivated not just 2nd Armored Division but literally rid themselves of all Armored Cavalry Regiments (ACRs). Bit us in the behind hard when we went into Iraq again in '03 and every since.

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Posted (edited)

Kind of related,  when the Canadian army was deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 it did so without any heavy armor, namely its Leopard C2 tanks. The Leopards were deemed irrelevant and obsolete on the modern battlefield by top brass in the Canadian army and were slowly being mothballed, sold, turned into memorials, sent to museums etc. However, by late 2005 early 2006 Canadian army commanders in theatre began asking for heavy armor to support the infantry on sweeps/patrols and guard bases. Luckily, there was a sufficient number of C2's and trained crews still in service that could be sent and upgraded:

À1920px-Leopard_C2_Canadian_Forces.jpg

 

They had an immediate positive impact on the ground. So great were they received that the Canadian government sought to procure any available newer model Leopards. They ended up leasing/buying Leopard 2A6M's from Germany (surplus tanks):

 

Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank

 

 

 

Again, well received by crews and those on the ground. As of June 2019 the Canadian army is looking to upgrade its current Leopards and possibly move into the Leopard 2A7/8 in the distant future and maintain them into 2050ish. Relevance...I only mention this because had the Canadian army not had even that small cadre of Leopards and crews back in 2005/2006, obviously there would have been nothing to send the infantry back then, but odds are they wouldn't have any heavy armor at all right now. As others have pointed out, once you lose something its hard to get it back.

 

Nice discussion all.

 

Happy modeling!

 

EDIT: no idea why my last paragraph suddenly turned blue and underlined itself. Oh well...

Edited by Don

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Whiskey said:

Excellent perspective Gary. Thanks for sharing that bit. 

 

 

Maybe we should start a new sub-forum or topic...... War stories?

Thanks. A side note from above. Had I left the bush twenty four hours later, I would have ended up with a 25 month sentence in indentured servitude to the Fed. In otherwords I was the last man out. The guys that followed were locked down till the middle of July even if they ETS'd a week after me! I thank God everyday for that twenty minute window of opportunity. That would have been towards the end of Tet in 69 (my do over).

      I was around some serious crack outfits, and rest assured some that sucked big time. I tend to respect them all, as I hope they do with me. If you get a map out, look down near the south end of I-Corp and you'll find an SF camp named Kam Duc. That's as far south as I traveled in field gear. Two klicks south of the Ashau with the 187th Infantry (maybe 327th) was as far north as I traveled. Although I nearly bought the farm in Phu Bai during Tet in 68. I did get to visit the Island right east of Tam Key with a hand full of Marine Recon guys. Scary! I often worry about those guys, as I was only around them about fifty minutes. Yet that was about forty minutes too long!!  

      I could set down with a tape recorder and take a heavy dose of Ibuprofen and go into detail by the hour of the day. The VA learned the hard way to never give me that stuff. Brings back a sickening history lesson that I've kept hidden for a long time. I often wish there was a pill I could take that would blank out 1967/68/69 forever. Maybe just let me keep the music.

gary

 

P.S. I did get right outside of Khe Sahn once for the guided tour of A101 (Lang Vie) . There were still a couple PT76 burn outs rusting away. Place was kinda creepy!

Edited by ChesshireCat
a bit of data

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19 hours ago, habu2 said:


Thanks for sharing. I turned 18 in ‘74 right before the pullout so I didn’t get called up but I had several friends in college who made it back. They didn’t want to talk about their experience and I knew better than to ask. 

Honestly; I was about as worthless as a kid could be in June 1967. A Drill Sargent name Oliver changed that. By December I felt bullets would bounce off me. The next five or six months was a learning curve, and trust me I learned!

glt

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23 hours ago, habu2 said:


Thanks for sharing. I turned 18 in ‘74 right before the pullout so I didn’t get called up but I had several friends in college who made it back. They didn’t want to talk about their experience and I knew better than to ask. 

 

I turned 18 in '71. Had a pretty high draft number, so I never got called up. One of my friends was an ex-marine who had recently come back from 'nam. He was having a real hard time keeping it together. He scared me. Not that I didn't feel safe around him, but I didn't want to go through what had made him the way he was. Others I knew who recently returned from 'nam were pretty messed up and confused. It was a scary time for many of us. The counter culture thing was going on and a lot of misunderstanding going on about what that was all about. Those were strange days.

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20 hours ago, Whiskey said:

 

Army lost all of that capability when they deactivated not just 2nd Armored Division but literally rid themselves of all Armored Cavalry Regiments (ACRs). Bit us in the behind hard when we went into Iraq again in '03 and every since.

2AD went away after the wall went down in 89, but there were plenty of armor units in the army.  Doctrinally, ACRs were assigned to Corps. After the wall fell, we really only had one armored corps, III Corps. During the invasion of Iraq, the Army still had an 3d ACR. We (I was assigned to 3ACR) started to deploy right after the invasion started, but weren't fully on the ground until after the cessation of combat operations (and yes, we could have helped with our structure and doctrine). 3d ACR went away around 2009 and became a Stryker brigade.

 

Interesting discussion about the Marines and Armor. Back during WWII, the Sherman was primarily an infantry support tank, not armor vs armor. One could say starting with the M26 Pershing, the Army started thinking tank vs tank with its design. The M1 was designed for armored maneuver warfare across the planes of Europe. It was not really designed to be an infantry support weapon, which doctrinally I would presume the Marines would use it more rather than tank vs tan; they have other assets to fight off tanks. The M1 had to adapt in Iraq to support infantry, but it was not its design function or forte (when never trained with the anti-personnel rounds they developed/issued after 2003). Back in the 80s, we had many discussions of the MOUT fight with M1s; usually it was "haul fool and bypass", let the mech infantry deal with it.

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37 minutes ago, Chorse6 said:

2AD went away after the wall went down in 89, but there were plenty of armor units in the army.  Doctrinally, ACRs were assigned to Corps. After the wall fell, we really only had one armored corps, III Corps. During the invasion of Iraq, the Army still had an 3d ACR. We (I was assigned to 3ACR) started to deploy right after the invasion started, but weren't fully on the ground until after the cessation of combat operations (and yes, we could have helped with our structure and doctrine). 3d ACR went away around 2009 and became a Stryker brigade.

 

 

2nd Armor went away after Desert Storm during the Clinton administration's draw downs. If you want to talk doctrine then you've forgotten 2nd ACR which fought in Desert Storm as well. Ever heard of Battle of 73 Easting? They re-flagged as a Stryker Brigade as well. 3rd ACR changed over in 2011, not 2009. 

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44 minutes ago, Whiskey said:

 

2nd Armor went away after Desert Storm during the Clinton administration's draw downs. If you want to talk doctrine then you've forgotten 2nd ACR which fought in Desert Storm as well. Ever heard of Battle of 73 Easting? They re-flagged as a Stryker Brigade as well. 3rd ACR changed over in 2011, not 2009. 

Though I was talking generalities, you're correct. If I recall, 11th ACR was already deactivating at the time eventually ending up at NTC as an OPFOR unit. 2nd ACR was starting, then got called into DS (and yes, I heard of 73 Easting. 3ACR was in DS also). I had to give them some of my unit's property since they were short. After they returned, they shut down (and I got a lot of their property) and went to Fort Lewis where they went "light", though not an ACR. They then moved to Ft Polk as a Light CR (HMMWVs- interesting concept) and the name went over to a Stryker Brigade in Europe after they deployed to Iraq in 03. I retired in 09 so I knew 3d ACR went away soon after that. Note: The term ACR is very specific. Even though the unit flag exists, they are not structurally an Armored Cavalry Regiment. 3ACR was the last.

 

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On 3/29/2020 at 3:34 PM, ChesshireCat said:

 

I have heard the Germans refer to the 101st as "American SS", and always thought that interesting

 

Interesting indeed. There is a book out called Tiger Force by Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss -- it's a good read, but it really chronicles some pretty nasty war atrocities by some members of the 101st during Nam.

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On 3/28/2020 at 5:26 PM, TaiidanTomcat said:

Which basically makes the USMC useless for anything other than hanging out in the Pacific waiting for a war that will likely never come,

 

The Marines have just shifted away from over 100 years of its core concept

I believe that's the (their?) main objective. Much like what happened back in the 90s with the NAVY and NASs like Miramar.

 

To me, this decision sounds more like a political one than a Marines decision.

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3 hours ago, SERNAK said:

I believe that's the (their?) main objective. Much like what happened back in the 90s with the NAVY and NASs like Miramar.

 

To me, this decision sounds more like a political one than a Marines decision.

I don't think so.  This is coming from the top of the Corp itself.  Obviously, the whole China is the new Boogeyman thing is political but how to implement the Pacific Pivot(tm)  is coming from within.  If anything, you will see the politicians jumping in to second guess this if it impacts weapons production or manpower levels in their home districts.  

 

Maybe the next war really will be a "clean one" with long range precision fires and UAV's doing all the dirty work but again, our track record of forecasting what the next war really looks like is pretty bad.   

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On ‎3‎/‎31‎/‎2020 at 8:21 AM, Whiskey said:

 

2nd Armor went away after Desert Storm during the Clinton administration's draw downs. If you want to talk doctrine then you've forgotten 2nd ACR which fought in Desert Storm as well. Ever heard of Battle of 73 Easting? They re-flagged as a Stryker Brigade as well. 3rd ACR changed over in 2011, not 2009. 

2AD was deactivated in December 1995 and reflagged to 4ID at Ft Hood. I was in 1st BDE, 3/41 INF at the time, which became 1/22 INF.

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16 hours ago, boscosticks said:

 

Interesting indeed. There is a book out called Tiger Force by Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss -- it's a good read, but it really chronicles some pretty nasty war atrocities by some members of the 101st during Nam.

Atrocities are not uncommon on the battlefield. Both sides could be called out equally. I've watched the local VC walk thru a village with a sack of grenades and a flame thrower at two in the morning. One well known fellow was offered a choice of Leavenworth or the utter destruction of a VC mine making village. I know this as fact as I was in the room. In the end the General was right, but don't condone his methods. On the otherhand people are generally treated the way they treat others.

       Combat in the bush is nothing like you see in film footage. If it's serious, the press won't be dumb enough to be in the middle of it. I saw exactly two Army photographers in my tour. The first one was near Chu Lai, and the second one flew into A102. He stayed less than fifteen minutes when he heard the mortars going down the tubes. Said he be back, but you know the story. Top said we don't need no  pictures anyway! Besides cameras don't do well on the night shift. War is a night shift thing, contrary to popular belief. 

       Wanta read about atrocities? The learn about Koreans and the Hill People. 

gary

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4 minutes ago, ChesshireCat said:

Atrocities are not uncommon on the battlefield. Both sides could be called out equally. I've watched the local VC walk thru a village with a sack of grenades and a flame thrower at two in the morning. One well known fellow was offered a choice of Leavenworth or the utter destruction of a VC mine making village. I know this as fact as I was in the room. In the end the General was right, but don't condone his methods. On the otherhand people are generally treated the way they treat others.

       Combat in the bush is nothing like you see in film footage. If it's serious, the press won't be dumb enough to be in the middle of it. I saw exactly two Army photographers in my tour. The first one was near Chu Lai, and the second one flew into A102. He stayed less than fifteen minutes when he heard the mortars going down the tubes. Said he be back, but you know the story. Top said we don't need no  pictures anyway! Besides cameras don't do well on the night shift. War is a night shift thing, contrary to popular belief. 

       Wanta read about atrocities? The learn about Koreans and the Hill People. 

gary

 

Amen to that brother, I was just surprised that COs allowed their units to wear ears/scalps as necklaces. Then again, there were some COs that literally took Hueys into LZs only to get back onto them again so that they could qualify for their CIBs... what some people did for chest candy I guess

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1 minute ago, boscosticks said:

 

Amen to that brother, I was just surprised that COs allowed their units to wear ears/scalps as necklaces. Then again, there were some COs that literally took Hueys into LZs only to get back onto them again so that they could qualify for their CIBs... what some people did for chest candy I guess

left ears of course. I always shunned the sight, but have seen worse. NVA liked to skin people alive. Hill folks were big on chopping off heads and mounting them on stakes in the middle of trails. Never try to stop them I might add! Trip wires don't care who you are, and I've seen hamburger made in a couple seconds out of non combatants. Most of I-Corp was a free fire zone after you went inland twenty five miles. It was already a free fire zone for the NVA! There were maybe three villages in my A.O. One was VC and the other friendly. The third was friendly in the daytime. When the sun set, everything was a target. You didn't learn that, and you went home early. 

     We used to roll into Chu Lai early in the morning, but most mess halls were shut. The Air Force had one open till about eight at night. You had to get there before the pulled the barb wire shut. We'd hit it about ten or eleven in the morning, and literally clear out the line because we smelled that bad. Th Sargent was a great guy, and fed us all we could eat. Looking around we saw guys that slept on a mattress under a roof. Had clean clothes and polished boots. Top whispered in my ear once that they didn't like us being there. Could have cared less! I'd lay my sixty, and belts on a table, and they were cleaner than the tables. The DRO didn't like that, but stayed away under the Mess Sargent's orders. We ate what the others shunned and loved it. Loved that mess hall! An hour later we were in the showers with clean clothes waiting. They burnt the others. Twenty hours later and a bad hangover we were headed out some unknown hill to recon it. Hopefully a dull and uneventful look see. If we came back the next day, it was to check on folks at the 312th Medvac. I hated going there.

gary 

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On 3/28/2020 at 8:26 AM, TaiidanTomcat said:

 

The CMC has confused a theater strategy for a service wide force structure. 

 

The USMC has prided itself on being "America's 911 force" and force in readiness jack of all trades from full on invasions to disaster relief and everything in between. This basically makes the USMC a 1 dimensional cold war force, with the binary logic that if it's not good for China, its not worth having. So all those other inconcenvient wars we have to "bother with" with the last 70s Years, from the Koreas to the Afghanistans are just going to have dial 911 for someone else. Which basically makes the USMC useless for anything other than hanging out in the Pacific waiting for a war that will likely never come, and if it ever did the USMC would massively expand anyway (the USMC in 1941 was 54,000 Marines and ended at nearly 500,000.) And whatever plan or force structure will go out the window overnight. 

 

That's about all for now. The internet is alight with everyone pointing out this is beyond x many of this and y many of that. The Marines have just shifted away from over 100 years of its core concept

 

 

I disagree, the USMC is going back to what it was designed for.  We won't be going back into Afghanistan or any of those other Stans for a while, Iraq is for the most part over one.  China is the biggest threat the US has now.  

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