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Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat

b00161400

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The Cmdt is not messing around. Big changes afoot for the Corps. Dropping all tanks and 18 cannon batteries and other things in order to reduce the size of the force and gain additional UAS and C130 squadrons and rocket batteries.



https://www.wsj.com/articles/marines-plan-to-retool-to-meet-china-threat-11584897014
 

Lumber

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I'm sorry what? No tanks? And no artillery? I get surging UAS capability, but they can only carry so much ordinance.
 

McG

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Lumber said:
I'm sorry what? No tanks? And no artillery? I get surging UAS capability, but they can only carry so much ordinance.
It sounds like recognition that the US does not need a second smaller Army but instead a force that delivers something different.
 

dapaterson

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Artillery moving from guns to rockets.  As well, that's all active component; no indication of what will happen to reserve component.
 

dimsum

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dapaterson said:
Artillery moving from guns to rockets.  As well, that's all active component; no indication of what will happen to reserve component.

Next up:  USMC Reserve gets tanks, artillery capabilities  ;)
 

daftandbarmy

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If they want to match the threat from China they should recruit another 'few' hundred thousand Marines or so....


The PLA is the world's largest military force and constitutes the second largest defence budget in the world. The PLA is one of the fastest modernising militaries in the world and has been termed as a potential military superpower, with significant regional defense and rising global power projection capabilities

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Liberation_Army

 

Journeyman

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Now, if I were a cynical type.... I'd see a Recon/MARSOC Marine finally in charge, going "ok, payback time you budget-eating, promotion-stealing, heavy metal bitches!"  ;D
 

MarkOttawa

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Start of a post with lots of links and info and effort radically to reshape USMC in the face of China--I have a lot of doubts about the the practicality of their basing ideas (and those of the USAF):

Radically Re-Shaping US Marines to Take on China–e.g. no more Tanks

Further to this post,

The Eagle increasingly challenged in case of war with the Dragon in the western Pacific

and related efforts by the US Navy and Air Force to reshape themselves to deal with the Dragon (see posts listed at end of this one), the Marine Corps has itself been planning a really big restructuring (will Congress go along? one imagines they will if costs are reduced). Note open naming of China...
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/radically-re-shaping-us-marines-to-take-on-china-e-g-no-more-tanks/

bases.jpg

Mark
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CBH99

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Scary that both sides don't even use the language in the context of "when" instead of "if".  Almost seems pre-planned, bound to 'happen'...


The real question I think is in the long run.  Let's say the US and China go to war in the SCS.  Then what?  What changes globally after that?


In WW2, when Germany was defeated, there were treaties & formalities signed, and the world settled into a new time of moving forwards.

But in the case of China & the USA, how would that really look?


^^ Slightly off topic, sorry...


I guess it's a good thing that the USMC doesn't want to just be a 'smaller 2nd Army' and is looking to introduce capabilities the other services can't.  Interesting times ahead for the USMC!
 

MilEME09

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Removing all armour I think would be a bad idea however a shift from the M1 to a light air or sea deployable tank like the old M8 AGS concept might be better to keep the marine Corp light and mobile. Maybe they have Hillier advising them *sarcasm*
 

FJAG

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Dimsum said:
Next up:  USMC Reserve gets tanks, artillery capabilities  ;)

4th Marine Div (The Reserve one) already has one tank battalion and two tube and one rocket artillery battalions.

1,2 and 3 Marine Divs between them have a total of two additional tank battalions and seven tube and one rocket artillery battalions.

Just for basic info, China has 16 armoured brigades plus an additional armoured division and 22 artillery brigades. The total is 7,950 tanks; 6,246 towed artillery, 1,710 self propelled artillery and 1,770 rocket systems.

I don't disagree with the shift being proposed but would seriously caution against divesting heavy resources that are hard to reestablish if you find that you do need them. Bulk up the reserves by all means.

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
4th Marine Div (The Reserve one) already has one tank battalion and two tube and one rocket artillery battalions.

1,2 and 3 Marine Divs between them have a total of two additional tank battalions and seven tube and one rocket artillery battalions.

Just for basic info, China has 16 armoured brigades plus an additional armoured division and 22 artillery brigades. The total is 7,950 tanks; 6,246 towed artillery, 1,710 self propelled artillery and 1,770 rocket systems.

I don't disagree with the shift being proposed but would seriously caution against divesting heavy resources that are hard to reestablish if you find that you do need them. Bulk up the reserves by all means.

:cheers:

Anyone who thinks they could take on China and win is clearly insane, or has never seen the Princess Bride #neveralandwarinasia
 

MilEME09

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daftandbarmy said:
Anyone who thinks they could take on China and win is clearly insane, or has never seen the Princess Bride #neveralandwarinasia

Sometimes the objective is not to win, but simply to not loose.
 

CBH99

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I think we would all agree the war against China will primarily be in the naval & naval air domains, with land operations being a distant secondary.

I don't know how much the USMC needs to prepare for a ground war against the PLA.  Being able to engage naval & air targets I think would be the better 'bang for the buck'.


Even if China did a full scale invasion of Taiwan, they wouldn't be able to deploy anywhere near their full numbers anyway. 
 

daftandbarmy

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CBH99 said:
I think we would all agree the war against China will primarily be in the naval & naval air domains, with land operations being a distant secondary.

I don't know how much the USMC needs to prepare for a ground war against the PLA.  Being able to engage naval & air targets I think would be the better 'bang for the buck'.


Even if China did a full scale invasion of Taiwan, they wouldn't be able to deploy anywhere near their full numbers anyway.

They may be thinking about re-roling in a way similar to the Royal Marines. It seems they are embracing the good old Commando role, which means they can sneak onto strategic maritime Island based objectives - going where the enemy is not - ahead of more forceful reinforcement.

This is a good option to counter the Chinese semi-covert occupation and reinforcement of the Spratley Islands, for example.
 

Ostrozac

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Journeyman said:
Now, if I were a cynical type.... I'd see a Recon/MARSOC Marine finally in charge, going "ok, payback time you budget-eating, promotion-stealing, heavy metal bitches!"  ;D

General Paul Kelley, Commandant USMC 1983-1987, had a Force Recon background. It's happened before. But it takes more than one man to turn an entire institution, change has to be generational if it will stick. It might also be noted that the US Navy has never had a Chief of Naval Operations with a SEAL background, but that hasn't prevented the gradual expansion of the Naval Special Warfare community.
 

b00161400

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What I've noticed is that the discussion about the China fight is that it is always imagined in Asia and it's related waters. There's good reasons for that but what if we fought them elsewhere, like say Africa? Or what if we fight there proxies, or vice versa?

Fighting actual Chinese forces in Asia holds much likelihood of significant escalation, whereas fighting them elsewhere creates a bit of strategic buffer in terms of the incentives to the CCP to escalate in the name of regime survival.  Further, if regime survival is the ultimate arbiter of escalation for the Chinese, then there is probably some value for us in not being overbearing in victory (assuming we win). A Chinese populace who is not immediately aware of any regime weakness may ultimately be beneficial in the long term.
 

daftandbarmy

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Haligonian said:
What I've noticed is that the discussion about the China fight is that it is always imagined in Asia and it's related waters. There's good reasons for that but what if we fought them elsewhere, like say Africa? Or what if we fight there proxies, or vice versa?

Fighting actual Chinese forces in Asia holds much likelihood of significant escalation, whereas fighting them elsewhere creates a bit of strategic buffer in terms of the incentives to the CCP to escalate in the name of regime survival.  Further, if regime survival is the ultimate arbiter of escalation for the Chinese, then there is probably some value for us in not being overbearing in victory (assuming we win). A Chinese populace who is not immediately aware of any regime weakness may ultimately be beneficial in the long term.

Here's a good example of what might happen if we try to fight the Chinese 'elsewhere': a 16 year long COIN operation that muddled through to an uncertain conclusion, killed thousands, displaced hundreds of thousands, provided the poor old USA a bad example of what they might be able to achieve in Vietnam (with the outcomes we know all too well), and that has left regional scars that linger to this day https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayan_Emergency

Jaw jaw is better than war war, especially with China IMHO.
 

Colin Parkinson

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On that I will have to disagree with you on. I read Chin Peng memoir "My side of history" and several other books available in Malaysia on it, along with chatting to some vets over there. The Brits did 3 things right in the beginning, they identified this as a problem for the police and let them run it. They early on picked the right men for the job of leading the effort with minimal idiot promoting. They also zeroed in on the drivers and weaknesses of the Communist Terrorists. A few things, the CT first leader was a French Vietnamese double agent, succeeded by Chin Peng. The Briggs plan isolated the CT from their main support which were the Chinese squatters/labours. The Brits were able to strong arm the Malay Sultans into giving out land to the Chinese (Most had fled China civil wars), this took away the majority of the support that the CT's had and most of their platform. A few other bits:

Chin Peng, admits that Beijing had a plan to dominate SE Asia (domino theory) But were pissed the locals started a revolt when conditions were not right.

UK captured CT's, interrogated them and then released them back into the bush with the threat that they would leak that they were a double agent, which forced hem to be a double agent. After awhile, the CT's were killing more of their own than the Brits for a bit.

The CT's only lasted as long as they did, thanks to being able to seek refuge in Thailand, later when the Thais pushed them out, they could not sustain the Britis ops tempo.

The Brits developed the concept of using SF to hunt the CT's and the army mainly as a blocking force. The Brits built good relations with the Indigenous tribes who had no love for the CT's

Near the end the CT's had lost the ability to communicate with each other, with the resulting breakdown of command and control, thanks to British efforts

The Brits wisely gave them an honourable exist strategy, helped by the WWII Brit liaison officer who had fought with Chin Peng against the Japanese to start the final negotiations (there were previous attempts).

As for the current mess, there was only so much the Brits could do to sort out Malaysia politically, with the 3 main ethnic groups always mistrustful of each other. The only way to solve that would have been mass expulsion and population movement.
 

b00161400

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I love tactical/operational/strategic narratives.  This is a good one on the US PACFLT losing.

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2018/may/how-we-lost-great-pacific-war?fbclid=IwAR0n28Cf_HZr3PZFQAzz-u0WLMRhSirF6ZzPVy-o2ijwAwFlUMWxec1wcxY

The Marines just recently did a significant document on the 'Postmortem of the Marine Corps.' A couple of them are about losing against the Chinese.  The first one 'Alphas' is awesome and on topic.

https://www.usmcu.edu/Portals/218/USMCPostMortem.pdf
 
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