Is This Heresy?

Great article over at the Marine Corps Gazette on how the USMC needs to evolve in fighting the wars of the future.  I was particularly struck by this quote:

Armor, high-security bases, high-tech American gear and uniforms, and overt displays of aggression are perceived as clear signs that the Marines are outsiders and invaders, not liberators, and certainly not friends. Changing the way we live, dress, groom, and act in small wars would allow the population to see us in a more favorable light. A practical model could include two separate forces of Marines from the same unit. Some Marines would live and dress in the above way, with the primary tasks of intelligence collection, relationship building, information operations, and humanitarian assistance; these Marines would work to mitigate the “I am not one of you” perception. A separate force would focus solely on kinetic operations and have minimal interaction with the local population, maintaining the “Don’t mess with us” perception. Putting both forces under the same headquarters for these separate tasks would ensure unity of effort and effective information sharing. Through our actions, Marines must convince others that there is truly “No better friend, no worse enemy.”
This is not just something the USMC must do, it is also something the Army must do in the future.  T. E. Lawerence lived like a Bedouin when fighting the Turks in the Middle East in World War I.  The MACV-SOG force in Vietnam was known for its unorthodox uniform and appearance standards.  If you want the natives to trust you; you must blend in.

About keydet1976

Retired as a Colonel in the United States Army after 33 years of service. Graduate of the VMI, MA in History at JMU, completed course work for Ph.D in History University of Tennessee.
This entry was posted in Marine Corps, The Long War. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Is This Heresy?

  1. MajW DC says:

    Yes, it’s heresy and a fantastically ill informed opinion. Uh, i think I recall something to the effect of “every Marine a rifleman”. This touchy-feely nation building and cultural bullshit will burn off like so much mist when we once again face Chinese or Russian line battalions coming over the ridge. Good help us we haven’t forgotten how to fight THAT kind of war.

    Like

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