Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Few, the Cloud, the Marines

I'm sorry, but you can't stealth a Marine Expeditionary Force ashore.

These new Marine technologies are interesting:

In light of escalating tensions around the globe, the event is timely because “storming the beaches” has changed a lot since it was done in Normandy, France during World War 2.

Adversaries now possess technology that makes it difficult – if not impossible – to surprise them with a large-scale amphibious invasion. Even a kid with a social media account could post a picture that tips off forces are attempting a covert approach, making covert operations that much more difficult.

By using the newest advanced technology, it can help Marines to mount an aggressive beach invasion – and do it in a way that significantly reduces the risk to the lives of Marines compared to times past.

But I think that the idea that new technology can overcome persistent enemy surveillance and precision long-range weapons to continue the ability to launch large-scale amphibious operations is just wrong.

As long as an enemy has persistent surveillance and precision strike capabilities, amphibious operations necessarily will need to be spread out and smaller in nature, possibly even transient.

Fortunately, there are objectives consistent with this approach (and you can add the Persian Gulf and the Baltic Sea where a more diffused approach would be extremely useful).

Once the enemy persistent surveillance and precision strike are degraded enough, the new technologies won't be necessary to approach the shore in large numbers.