Paying the Premium: A Military Insurance Policy for Peace and Freedom

By Walter Hahn; H. Joachim Maitre | Go to book overview

6
Marine Forces for the Future

Gen. George Crist, USMC (Ret.)

The Marine Corps has always lived on the margin beside the larger U.S. military services. Historically the strength and capabilities of the Corps have followed a sine curve, rising and falling in direct relation with the extent of America's military commitments and involvements. The era of U.S.-Soviet confrontation, and related conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, marked nearly forty years of historically unprecedented stability for the Corps.

The fading of the confrontation era is stripping away the commitment by the United States to a global war posture, and with it the cushion against descending military manpower levels and reduced resources. Now the Marine Corps again faces fierce competition for a share of defense allocations and for the visibility of its role in the post-containment strategy.


A DIFFICULT ROAD AHEAD

The fortunes of the Marine Corps have traditionally been founded in four potential missions: large wars, limited or regional wars, small wars, and demonstrations of force. By public law the roles and missions of the Marine Corps are primarily naval and amphibious: they focus on the seizure and defense of advanced naval bases and the conduct of land operations essential to the prosecution of naval campaigns. In reality, however, what the Corps is called upon to undertake often has little relevance to the words of the law. The Marine Corps is proscribed from being a "second land army." Yet in World Wars I and II, in Korea, in Vietnam, and more recently in the Persian Gulf, that is precisely how the Corps was used.

-93-

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Paying the Premium: A Military Insurance Policy for Peace and Freedom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1: In Search of an American "Defense Insurance Policy" 1
  • Notes 11
  • 2: Risks and Uncertainties in a Changing World 13
  • Note 31
  • 3: Army Forces for the Future 33
  • 4: Naval Forces for the Future 55
  • 5: Tactical Air Forces for the Future 71
  • 6: Marine Forces for the Future 93
  • Notes 109
  • 7: Strategic Forces for the Future 111
  • Notes 122
  • 8: Coping with Global Missile Proliferation 123
  • 9: The Pivotal Elements: Airlift and Sealift 141
  • 10: The Need for Forward Prepositioning 159
  • 11: The U.S. Defense- Industrial Base 173
  • Notes 184
  • 12: Conclusion: How the Challenges and Dangers of the Post-Containment Era Can Be Mastered 185
  • Notes 189
  • Index 191
  • About the Editors and Contributors 197
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