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However, the focus here is on operation planning, especially at the tactical level. It is a regulatory publication for the Department of the Navy as defined in U. Navy Regulations. The Marine Corps Manual is designed primarily for use by Marine Corps commanders and their staffs, Navy officers exercising command over Marines, the staff of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the staffs of the bureaus and offices of the Navy Department.

The Marine Corps shall have primary interest in the development of those landing force doctrines, tactics, techniques, and equipment which are of common interest to the Army and the Marine Corps. Spires Ver todo. Army, U. Marine Corps, , 1— GEN McChrystal makes a distinction between complicated and complex:.

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April 3. February 3. April 2. Search By Tags. Army Junior Officers. Arnel P. We need fresh thinking as we pull back from a decade of war. Col Dobson's article faced up to these issues. I applaud Col Dobson's effort and I hope it will instill a debate, but I do have some concerns.

Final Drill – Marine Corps Boot Camp

First, we need to rationalize the Corps' role from a national and joint perspective. I think Col Dobson is correct that the need exists, although it's not clear, as the defense budget shrinks, whether building partner capacity BPC tasks are retained or start becoming a "nice to have. Second, we need to assess the impact of the so-called "age of austerity. Detachments for BPC may not meet the first challenge, but a full-spectrum Marine Corps clearly meets the second criteria.

Building a Military for the 21st Century

Third, we need to understand the complexity of the mission range we now face. The current conception bifurcates the spectrum of conflict between IW and conventional warfare — a false choice if we grasp trends about proliferation and proxy forces. We need to assess our assumptions about frequency, consequences, and risk far more carefully and analytically.


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We may need to train future partners to conduct conventional warfare and create other security agencies, not to defeat an insurgency. Competing Schools Reduced resources, greater requirements, fewer forces, and more missions are a force planner's nightmare. There are a variety of schools of thought on how to address this force posture problem.

Col Dobson's bold proposal has a clear logic, but a broader lens is needed. An assessment of the strategic environment, projections of the evolving character of conflict, the Department of Defense's DoD's new strategic guidance, and integration with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Joint Force should be considered. The Marine Corps' culture — its "mask of war" — should also be assessed, as alterations to its ethos, fundamental mission, and force structure will have to be factored in.

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To expand the aperture of the debate, this article lays out four competing schools found in today's security literature. There are strategists who believe that Iraq and Afghanistan represent far more than a passing blip in the evolution of conflict; they contend that massed formations comprised of traditional arms and large-scale conflict between conventional powers are no longer a realistic planning scenario or the focal point for shaping tomorrow's military. They contend that the most likely challenges and greatest risks are posed by failing states, ungoverned territories, transnational threats, and radical versions of Islam.

Advocates of this school stress that this should be the focus of effort for the American military. Some even deride the notion of "irregular" warfare in our military's culture as fallacious, and criticize the U. Barak Salmoni, once argued:. It will only be when American military and civilian leaders recast the irregular as regular that they will begin to fundamentally restructure forces, properly re-educate personnel, effectively plan operationally and usefully deploy as well as employ military forces.

Within the Marine Corps, this is a small community generally associated with fourth-generation warfare, but I would call this our small wars camp. This school challenges "current orthodoxy [which] says that what is needed is a one-size-fits-all medium force that is both strategically mobile and tactically robust. As Max Boot argued, the Marine Corps should return to its small wars roots and drop its pursuit of major programs designed to preserve its forcible entry mission. As David Kilcullen recently noted, about 83 percent of all conflicts since Waterloo have been irregular in character, and there is little to suggest that this is changing back to state-centric conventional war.

However, small-scale crises are rarely existential to U. We should not confuse prevalence with prioritized strategic objectives. Structure and programmatic shifts would not be significant, but expensive hardware acquisitions like the Joint Strike Fighter and the amphibious combat vehicle ACV would have a lower priority. At the same time, this focus would leave the Corps less prepared for rare, but demanding, conventional conflicts.

The Traditionalists The Traditionalists sit at the opposing end of the spectrum of conflict. This school seeks to reestablish the traditional focus of the Armed Forces on "fighting and winning the Nation's wars. They advocate against reorienting forces, especially ground forces, away from their traditional emphasis on large-scale, Industrial Age warfare against states or an alliance of states.

Traditionalists want to retain the Pentagon's current procurement profile and its emphasis on the "big guns" for a future they predict will be conventional in nature, and for which a large and expensive military is strategically necessary.

This school would concur with a key assessment in future assessments that competition and conflict among conventional powers will continue to be the primary strategic and operational context for the Joint Force over the next 25 years. This state-based and conventional warfare school is particularly wary about the newfound embrace for messy, protracted counterinsurgencies like Iraq and Afghanistan.

They are rightfully concerned about the degradation of combat skill sets within the Army and Marine Corps due to the severe operational tempo of today's conflicts. This school would preserve the Corps' force structure, and the Joint Strike Fighter and ACV would be the highest procurement priorities. Full Spectrum The third and most prevalent school, at least among American ground force commanders, is full-spectrum operations. This school recognizes the need to adequately deal with both strictly conventional tasks and irregular threats.

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It seeks to cover the entire spectrum of conflict and avoid the risk of being optimized at either extreme.