The Marine Corps has decided that it is not postured for the future. A year-long review of service plans revealed multiple gaps in planned capabilities that could put Marines at a disadvantage in fighting the tech-savvy adversaries of tomorrow. Among other things, the Marines need to invest more heavily in information warfare, long-range fires, active protection of combat vehicles, and expeditionary air defenses. But they also need the Navy to buy more amphibious warships, because on its current schedule the naval shipbuilding program won’t generate enough vessels to lift two Marine Expeditionary Brigades until 2034. The amounts of money are not great for a government that spends $11 billion per day, but without relief from congressionally-imposed budget caps, the Marines will gradually lose their combat edge. Maneuver warfare and individual initiative will still be the centerpiece of Marine warfighting culture, but better equipment is needed to stay ahead of emerging threats. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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