Gates orders "thorough force structure review" of the Corps


This time he really means business. Gates sounded the death knell for U.S. Joint Forces command at the beginning of the week and by the end of the week he had his sites trained on the Marine Corps.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Dwight A. Henderson

In a speech at the Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco on Thursday, he ordered a thorough force structure review of the Marine Corps. It’s no news that the Corps is prepared to draw down its personnel after operations in Afghanistan wind down. But this goes deeper. He said he wants to determine what an expeditionary force in readiness should look like in the 21st Century.

In his speech, Gates took the audience down the storied path of Marine Corps lore, through the rich history of important and seminal engagements, sacrifice and victory through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, concluding that the nation does not need a second land army.

Gates said he is worried that in a time of austerity the Defense Department may be seen by some legislators as a cash cow to fix funding issues in some other agencies. The spigot of defense spending that was turned up after the attacks of 9/11, he said, is closing.

BLUF: every dollar counts. Stand by for more.


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  1. Maybe Gates is thinking that the U.S. Marine Corps should replace the U.S. Army has the only land army as it as both land and sea force experience. From what I hear, Army personnel like to hang around Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq because they feel safer. Tell it to the Marines….fgr

  2. DarthVaderMentor on

    I’m just glad that Gates has his sites, not his sights trained on the USMC.

    Obama and Hillary better not forget whose guarding their lives, day or night. Hint: It’s not the Army, Navy or the Air Force.

    Gates is right, the USMC is being turned into a traditional infantry force because the West Point idiots can’t win a war because they prefer winning the internal political battles than beating the enemy.

    Maybe Gates finally woke up and did his job and read the old USMC “The Small Wars Manual” and suddenly realized the West Point crowd doesn’t know how to fight a counterinsurgency!

    The Marines are special and valuable forces that shouldn’t be wasted doing “nation building” and “police actions”. We shouldn’t be losing well selected and trained young men sweeping cities and fighting drug lords. Leave that to the Army. The USMC should be reserved for special missions, seaborne and airborne entry and aggressive counterinsurgency. Missions with quick, decisive and well defined objectives to win, not political mush.

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