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Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 Is Regression, Not Progress | National Interest

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Erik Khzmalyan is not the average Marine. He is an intelligent and devoted leader who will give up his freedom to serve you and your objectives.

Erik Khzmalyan contends that if the Marine Corps again subordinates itself to the U.S. Navy, it will regain its independence. It is risky to commit the Marine Corps to a single, improbable fight at the cost of their capacity to respond to other, more probable eventualities. The goal of the commandant is to prepare the Corps for the possibility of a conflict with China in the Western Pacific. The Marine Corps’ independence was won after a long and challenging struggle, yet it is a status the commander will gladly give up.

The commandant does not advocate a restoration of the Corps’ “traditional functions” in Force Design 2030 unless subordination to the Navy is considered a function. If the Marine Corps has a traditional mission, it is to offer a fast deployable, general-purpose force capable of responding to any crisis in “any climate and locale.” During Desert Storm, the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade performed an amphibious demonstration off the coast of Kuwait that prevented six Iraqi divisions from operating. Operation Eastern Exit, the daring non-combatant evacuation (NEO) of the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, was accomplished by soldiers of the 5th MEB in 1991.

In 1992, the 15th MEU engaged in Operation Restore Hope, a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation in Somalia. In December 1993, the 11th MEF engaged in Operation Continue Hope’s continuation. In 1995, I MEF organized a composite task force that sent Italian Marines to Somalia to cover the final UN departure.

The Corps’ value as the nation’s force-in-readiness was repeatedly shown during the 1990s. Nothing in the Goldwater-Nichols Act prohibits Marine air-ground task teams from supporting naval operations as Fleet Marine Forces.

The Navy’s hesitation in supporting the amphibious mission has caused the most disruption to the Navy and Marine Corps relationship. Despite being committed to ongoing operations onshore, the Marine Corps regularly deployed MEUs. Marine Corps has not abandoned its nautical background and continues to fulfill its role as a naval force-in-readiness, according to Khzmalyan.

According to him, advances in precision weapons have increased the difficulty of deploying and using armed personnel in high-end conflict. He adds that keeping a service’s autonomy should be a top objective for every service head. He contends that committing the Marine Corps to a single, improbable fight at the price of its flexibility to respond to other, more probable eventualities is a poor gamble.

Source: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/marine-corps%E2%80%99-force-design-2030-regression-not-progress-202530


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