Author Archives: Tom Hayden

The Syrian dominos

Summary: Today Tom Hayden briefs us on the situation in Syria, about what’s happening — and what might happen soon.

Photo from the Express Tribune of Pakistan

Civil wars are the worst type of warfare. However, we are not implying that there is such a thing as “good warfare.” There are only good causes.

In Syria we have a situation much like the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). As the fighting extends in time between the combat wing of the United Revolutionary Council and the despotic Assad regime, foreign players have begun entering the struggle.

  • Backing Assad, you have the Iranians, Russia and HizbAllah.
  • Backing the revolutionaries we have the Saudis, the Emirates, and to a limited degree, Turkey and Jordan.
  • The USA has sent aid, but best we know at this point it has been, we are told, only humanitarian aid.

In the meantime the body count grows and is now over 30,000.

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The Marine Corps Today, Tonight, and Tomorrow

Summary:  G.I. Wilson and H. Thomas Hayden explain why America needs a Marine Corps.  As GW said before, “The USMC’s future lies its creative intellect, professionalism in the study and application of maneuver warfare, and delivering what the Nation needs most in a crisis be it humanitarian relief for disasters or launching forcible maritime operations from sea to attack in the littorals or several hundred miles in land to rescue civilians.”  At the end are links to other valuable articles about the future of the USMC.  This is an expanded version of their article published here on 23 August 2010.  Note the comment by William Woods (LtCol, USMC, retired) at the end.

Machinations

The Pentagon budget machinations continue to heat up while DOD and Congress evaluate the Nation’s national security interests, seeking ways to downsize and right size the military. As global agitation unfolds in the littorals — places such as Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Somalia, Iran,Yemen, Bahrain, and North Korea — perhaps we should reconsider the role of naval forces, particularly amphibious forces, play in our Nation’s security needs. Despite all the political posturing amidst this growing global unrest, the Marine Corps continues to focus on being relevant to the Nation.  Today, tonight, and tomorrow.

Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution reminds us to raise an Army when needed.  But Article I Section 8 tell us to always maintain a Navy. Nevertheless, with any review of a Service’s raison d’être comes the resurgence of inter-Service rivalry.  Plus the extraordinary pressure from lobbyists, congressionals, and contractors to funnel the diminishing flow of defense dollars to their favored constituents.  It is all about awarding contracts, not national security.

Naval Focus

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Why a Marine Corps?

Summary:  FM contributors G.I. Wilson and H. Thomas Hayden explain why America needs a Marine Corps.  As GW said before, “The USMC’s future lies its creative intellect, professionalism in the study and application of maneuver warfare, and delivering what the Nation needs post in a crisis be it humanitarian relief for disasters or launching forcible maritime operations from sea to attack in the littorals or several hundred miles in land to rescue civilians.”  At the end are links to other valuable articles about the future of the USMC.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates recently said that he had ordered a review of the future role of the Marine Corps amid “anxiety” that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had turned the service into a “second land army.”  In remarks for a speech at Marines’ Memorial Theatre in San Francisco Gates (transcript) said that the review would seek to define a 21st century combat mission for the Marines that is distinct from the Army’s, because the Marines “do not want to be, nor does America need” another ground combat force.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 13 August 2010, in ordering the Pentagon review, “Gates was deepening a long-running debate about the role of the Marine Corps, including whether one of its main missions, amphibious assaults on fortified coastlines, has become obsolete because of the changing nature of warfare and advances in precision weaponry.”

“Amphibious assault on a fortified coast line” is the dumbest and most ill informed or uninformed statement anyone can make. The beauty of amphibious shipping is that it can sail up and down a coast line and land Marines where the enemy is less likely to be defending a landing zone. No one in their right mind will do another Tarawa landing in World War II. Anyone remember Inchon, Korea?  It was landing where the enemy was less prepared.

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