Thursday, July 26, 2018

Don't Turn the Marine Corps into a Constabulary Corps

I don't like this idea at all to refocus the Marines:

[The] requested report also asks a much bigger question: “whether the joint force would benefit from having one Armed Force dedicated primarily to low-intensity missions.” The bill tells us which Armed Force this would be: the United States Marine Corps.

The author doesn't like the idea one bit, rightly pointing out how Israel utterly failed against Hezbollah in 2006 with their ill-prepared army. I agree on 2006. Although I sometimes fear the lesson didn't take hold. And I agree on the Marine mission issue.

My view is that any good soldier (or Marine) can carry out low-intensity conflict (like counterinsurgency) if properly led.

Focusing on LIC as the primary mission of a fighting force leads to nonsense like this.

Yes, large-scale forcible entry amphibious invasions are probably a thing of the past. But large-scale expeditionary conventional warfare is not obsolete for America with almost all of our combat power in North America. If the Marines don't need to land with Okinawa-level resistance on the shores to fight inland (with the Army), conventional expeditionary warfare is not a bad ability to have, eh? And I could be wrong about the forcible entry need.

I think it would be far better to focus the Marines on urban warfare (see the article starting on page 38) on the theory that assaulting a defended city is a lot like hitting a defended shore--but without getting their feet wet. This training complements amphibious assault missions and doesn't wreck conventional fighting skills.

This Marine focus also allows the Army to emphasize mobile warfare, maintaining just pockets of urban fighting skills in the combat engineers who could have to enable Army troops to fight in a city if necessary.