Winning the Spectrum: Securing Command and Control For Marine Stand-In Forces

CIMSEC – EABO and DMO are the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ bid for success in disrupting the fait accompli strategies of great power competitors, providing the deterrence by denial called for in the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) and 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS). In order to succeed in the A2/AD environment cultivated by America’s adversaries, EABO and DMO will necessarily be facilitated by emerging fires, ISR, and communications technologies. But the critical vulnerability to EABO, DMO, and consequently to deterrence by denial, is signature management.

Declawing the Tiger: A Rebuttal of the Decision to Phase Out Marine Tank Battalions

Strategy Bridge – While General Berger proposes important changes, such as a focus on China and the need to revisit the Marine Corps’ amphibious strategy, the abandonment of the tank does little to benefit the infantry’s fighting power. The future of the Marine Corps rests in the adaptation of a cost-effective light tank that can bring suitable firepower to bear on islands, in cities, and in maneuver warfare.

“Cocaine Logistics” For the Marine Corps

War on the Rocks – In a future conflict with China, how would the Marine Corps supply small units deep inside enemy controlled areas, hundreds or even thousands of miles from their logistics bases?

The US Navy and Marine Corps should acquire Army watercraft

Defense News – Rather than accepting a new amphibious design built from the ground up, decision-makers should take advantage of the fact that many key requirements of the new vessels are very similar to the capabilities of vessels operated by U.S. Army Transportation Command. The Navy and Marine Corps should delay any new construction and immediately acquire some of these existing vessels to drive experimentation and better inform their requirements for the LAW program.

Marines Considering Adding Land-Based Hypersonic Weapons to Arsenal

USNI News – The Marine Corps is in talks with the Pentagon’s research and development community over how a land-based hypersonic weapon could be incorporated into the smallest service’s quick-maneuver concept.

Marines Look to Two New Ship Classes to Define Future of Amphibious Operations

USNI News – The Navy and Marine Corps are looking to quickly overhaul their Cold War-era way of moving Marines around, with the services already agreeing on the basic requirements for a new Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) and in the early phases of looking at a separate small amphibious ship class.

Thinking Like a Pirate: Contesting Southeast Asia’s Chokepoints

CIMSEC – The Marine Corps’ future method toward strategic chokepoints and littorals could be taking the pirate’s approach and ramping it up with new weaponry, ships, superior ISR, and tactical creativity.

Marines Testing Regiment at Heart of Emerging Island-Hopping Future

USNI News – The Marine Corps is starting to form and experiment with the littoral regiment at the heart of its modern-day island-hopping strategy.

In his fight to change the Corps, America’s top Marine takes friendly fire

Defense News – As the new commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps seeks to make radical changes to how the service operates, there are signs some of the old-guard Marines are dubious of aligning too closely with the Navy.

Crafting the US Marine Corps Mystique: A Conversation With Heather Venable

CIMSEC – Professor Heather Venable discusses her new book, How the Few Became the Proud: Crafting the Marine Corps Mystique, 1874-1918. It is a fascinating look at how the U.S. Marine Corps, struggling to define its role as a small fighting force in the earlier days of the republic, crafted a reputation and truly — a mystique — to ensure the service’s survival.

New Marine Littoral Regiment, designed to fight in contested maritime environment, coming to Hawaii

Marine Corps Times – The Marine Corps is putting together a new force in Hawaii called the Marine Littoral Regiment that can operate inside a contested maritime environment and sink ships.

No Sure Victory: the Marines New Force Design Plan and the Politics of Implementation

War on the Rocks – A great deal of digital ink has been spilled about the Marines recently revealed Force Design Plan 2030 and its strategic implications and whether or not the commandant is steering the Corps in the “right” direction. This debate is obviously important, but it has thus far overlooked an equally vital question: can Berger implement his vision?

A new ‘Marine Littoral Regiment’ specializing in ship-to-shore capabilities is coming to Hawaii

Stars and Stripes – A new “Marine Littoral Regiment” coming to Hawaii — the first of its kind in the Marine Corps — represents a major shift for the service in the “great power” competition playing out in the Western Pacific and preparation for a high-tech missile war in the region.

Navy Wants To Buy 30 New Light Amphibious Warships To Support Radical Shift In Marine Ops

War Zone – Fleets of small, low-cost amphibious warships are absolutely critical to how the Marine Corps’ plans to fight in the coming years.

Getting the Context of Marine Corps Reform Right

War on the Rocks – Since reading the commandant’s Force Design report, we, too, have reflected on what the changes will mean for the Marine Corps — and by extension, the Department of the Navy, the joint force, our allies, partners, and most importantly, the American people. Regular War on the Rocks readers likely know that our writing team has, at times, been critical of the Corps’ decisions. In this case, however, we, like T.X. Hammes, are encouraged about the potential future that awaits our naval service.

Marine F/A-18 Hornets Fly Armed With Live Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles In Japan

War Zone – The exercise sent a clear signal that Marine Hornets are ready to reach out and counter hostile maritime activities.

U.S. Marines Launch Amphibious And Air Assaults On Saudi Islands In The Persian Gulf

War Zone – The training exercises come amid a new spike in hostility with Iran, which uses its own nearby islands to stage various naval operations.

The Rest of the Story: Evaluating the US Marine Corps Force Design 2030

War on the Rocks – While the world is worried about pandemics, trade, and migration, U.S. defense leaders remain laser focused on treating China as the new pacing threat. Each service has marched in step to the 2018 National Defense Strategy and linked their force modernization to great power competition. The focus of the Marine Corps Commandant’s Planning Guidance and new force design report illustrate this trend. Are the concepts and formations called for in these documents flexible enough to respond to other, more likely conflicts?

Naval Surface Fire Support An Assessment of Requirements

RAND – Naval surface fire support (NSFS) has been a traditional mission of U.S. Navy surface combatants. Although naval guns have been viewed as a major instrument of sea control, they have also been seen, and widely used, as ways to directly influence the battle ashore by providing the equivalent of artillery support for U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) forces operating ashore. Although there is no denying that the Navy and the USMC have viewed NSFS as important, the actual requirements are sometimes vague.

Building a Marine Corps For Every Contingency, Clime and Place

War on the Rocks – Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger’s recently published Force Design 2030 has riled up both the “old guard,” who fear for the service’s future, and industry lobbyists, who fear for the future of contracts for amphibious ships and F-35s. The document rationally outlines the changes necessary for the Marine Corps to play its role as the nation’s naval expeditionary force-in-readiness while meeting the modernization and operational requirements laid out in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Overall the proposal has been positively received, but critics have expressed concern that the proposed force does not hedge for the sorts of wars fought in contingencies like Vietnam, Korea, and Iraq.

Marines’ Force Design 2030 May Allow MEUs Tailored for Different Geographies, Adversaries

USNI News – The Marine Corps’ new force design may allow East Coast expeditionary units to look much different than West Coast or Japan-based units, a nod to the complex but different environments they’ll operate in and threats they’ll face in the future.