Going back to the future ain’t easy. After a decade largely spent waging land wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. Marine Corps wants to reemphasize large-scale amphibious operations, like its recent “Bold Alligator” exercise. But to do that in the face of rising threats, shrinking budgets, and limited assets, they’re going to have to rely not only on their traditional partners in the U.S. Navy but increasingly on the Army, friendly nations, and even the commercial sector for logistical support to get them ashore.
Meh. Nothing new here. While the Marines are right to return their focus to “kicking in the door” style forced entry, the fact is, large scale amphibious operations have always required significant logistical support from the other services, including the Army, and follow-on logistics have always relied on allied and civilian shipping and other transportation assets.