The Marines Want to Take Over the Afghanistan Show

Marines Press to Remove Their Forces From Iraq
The Marine Corps is pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and to send Marines instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there, according to senior military and Pentagon officials.
The idea by the Marine Corps commandant would effectively leave the Iraq war in the hands of the Army while giving the Marines a prominent new role in Afghanistan, under overall NATO command.

Letting a MAGTF do it’s thing would be an interesting demonstration of what they’re designed to do to begin with. For those unfamiliar with the Marine Corps air/ground doctrine, it is a mighty thing.

The Marine Air Ground Task Force is the Marine Corps’ principle organization for conducting missions across the spectrum of military operations. MAGTFs provide combatant commanders or joint task force commanders with scalable, versatile expeditionary forces able to respond to a broad range of crisis and conflict situations. They are balanced, combined-arms force packages containing organic command, ground, aviation, and sustainment elements.A single commander leads and co-ordinates this combined-arms team from peacetime training through deployment. MAGTF teams live and train together,further increasing their cohesion and fighting power.

Marines bring EVERYTHING they need to operate with them, as well as the supplies to keep going. Marine Air is already in place and operating when the ground pounders call a strike in.
I was heartened by this paragraph…

…It is not clear whether the Army would support the idea. But some officials sympathetic to the Army said that such a realignment would help ease some pressure on the Army, by allowing it to shift forces from Afghanistan into Iraq, and by simplifying planning for future troop rotations.

…because of a disturbing policy that has kept me and major dad pissed off beyond all reckoning. Something we’ve spoken personally to outraged parents about. And we’ve yet to see anyone address it or write about it. Watching the Honor Rolls on news programs (as it does on The News Hour on PBS) that run when they’ve pictures and names of the fallen, you may have noticed the odd E-1 to E-3/4 Navy or Air Force casualty. One would normally think ‘Dang! This isn’t a naval war! Must be a corpsman or something.’ But it’s not.
It’s some junior enlisted Navy or Air Force reservist who’s been called up…to fill Army billets on convoys, security duties, in supply…whatever hole the Army can plug an untrained body into. And they have minimal combat training.
And we think that’s wrong.
As is what is happening within reserve units who finally get home

Army Denies Guard Members Education Benefits
More than 1,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard who returned from Iraq this summer have been denied full education benefits under the GI Bill.
All the soldiers served nearly two years in Iraq, but half were told they served only 729 days, one day short of qualifying for full education benefits.

That would be a unit with a happy taste in its mouth, I’d say.

4 Responses to “The Marines Want to Take Over the Afghanistan Show”

  1. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Unfortunately, the Army has a nasty tendency to view the other services as unnecessary or subservient. And the Reserves or National Guard? Competition for resources, rather than a resource.
    This is not a consistent belief throughout the Army, but I experienced that nasty tendency as a Guardsman and Reservist on more than one occasion, and usually in the most ridiculous of places.
    However, this is not the prevalent Army culture, it’s a sub-culture, nurtured by a group of arrogant officers who feel that since the Army is the largest military component, it’s the most important one, and hence the Army is a stand alone operation, or at least the primary one.
    This attitude is reflected throughout the Army such that combined or joint operations are made difficult when cooperation or coordination is rendered ineffective by that arrogance. I observed this on a personal scale, and on a command-to-command basis. It ain’t pretty to watch, especially when this goes blue on blue between headquarters.
    The solution? I have to admit, putting just the Marines into Afghanistan, and the Army into Iraq, will help, but that’s strictly short term. Long term? Smack some generals on the head to get their attention? I don’t know, short of devising a practical idiot detector.
    And that Minnesota Guard unit has to be pissed. I suspect there’ll be a lot of waivers issued, after some serious bureaucratic in fighting and Congressional intervention.

  2. Gunslinger says:

    The Army’s problem in a nutshell…

    Marines are known as “The Few… The Proud…”

    In the Navy “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure”

    The Air Force tells you to “Aim High”

    The Army said “Be all that you can be” only to end up an ‘Army of One”

  3. Dave E. says:

    I think that the Marines to Afghanistan makes a lot of sense, especially since after all their fine work in Anbar, that province seems to be settling down for now.
    The MN congressmembers are working on fixing the issue with the 1/34 BCT and I’m sure that it will be fixed. The NPR story is factually incorrect though and it’s typical of how the facts get screwed up in serving a particular narrative.
    “All the soldiers served nearly two years in Iraq, but half were told they served only 729 days, one day short of qualifying for full education benefits.”
    Few, if any, of these soldiers served even 729 days. Most were around 670 days or 22 consecutive months. The two year benefit kicks in though if you are ordered to serve two full years(730) days, serve at least 20 months consecutively, and then are released early by the military for several different reasons. In this case, released at the convenience of the military.
    This brigade numbers around 2600 soldiers in a number of organic units across about 5 states. There’s no doubt in my mind that some asshole decided to try to save a little money by making the orders he cut read “not to exceed 729 days” and then marveled at his budget management skills. The others either had someone different cut their orders or commands that knew how to take care of their troops. I saw shit like that all the time back in the 1980s. Military bureaucracy lives on, even in war.

  4. memomachine says:

    Kipling’s “Tommy” comes to mind right about now.

Image | WordPress Themes