The shift of U.S. military strategy to an Asia-Pacific focus has big implications for the Marine Corps. Unlike in Europe and the Middle East, distances are vast and there are few U.S. bases. But the littoral nations of East Asia have become the industrial heartland of the new global economy, so it is essential for America to have assured access to the region. The Marine Corps is the only U.S. military service that trains constantly to provide that access — not just to bomb hostile forces, but to actually storm ashore and secure land. With half the world’s population and much of its commerce located near coastlines in the Western Pacific, Marine amphibious-warfare capabilities are likely to figure prominently in plans for fleshing out the Asia-Pacific posture. Those plans probably should include a larger fleet of amphibious warships and connectors for getting Marines from ship to shore. I have written a commentary for Forbes that you can read here.
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