The U.S. Marine Corps has proven once again that adaptability is one of its core competencies, with the successful deployment of a shore-based crisis response unit to the Persian Gulf region. Over a seven-month period, the specially-trained Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted air strikes against ISIS targets, reinforced embassies, trained local partners, rescued downed pilots, evacuated noncombatants, and performed a host of other missions in nearly a dozen countries — all without the use of amphibious warships. Its success was made possible by careful planning, constant training, high-quality leadership, and versatile technology (most notably the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor). What this innovative unit demonstrates is that the Marines have fashioned a fighting force uniquely responsive to the “new normal” in the Middle East. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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