Marine Corps Cuts Make No Strategic Sense

Cuts to the Marine Corps as mandated by sequestration are bringing the force to dangerously low levels. In 2011, the Marines announced they hoped to “right-size” the force after a decade of war from 202,000 to 186,800. But last month, Commandant General Jim Amos announced the Corps would need to reduce the Marine force to a “minimum acceptable” level of 174,000 as a result of sequestration budget cuts.

This week, while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Major General Frank McKenzie addressed speculation that the force might have to be cut even deeper.

“Based on our review of the existing requirements today and our best-case projection for 2017, 150,000 would be an unviable number for the Marines,” McKenzie said.

While cuts to 150,000 are not likely, the reduction to 174,000 still means a cut to the fundamental unit of the Corps, the Marine Infantry Battalion. Since the Marines have already cut their end-strength (the maximum level of personnel authorized at the end of the fiscal year) from 202,000, which included some 27 infantry battalions, the 174,000 figure would require a reduction to 21 infantry battalions, as well as cuts to armor and towed artillery formations.

It is a strategic failure to base force structure on budget rather than threat assessment, which has been the issue with US military force development over the years. We regularly find ourselves cutting the “trigger-puller” in our forces so the military can pay the bills for greater domestic spending junkets, like Obamacare.

In my early days in uniform we will never forget having to deal with toilet paper rationing, while President Bill Clinton pushed through a large crime bill that included a “midnight basketball” program for inner city youth.

When you consider that the majority of countries where radical Islamists seek sanctuary have large stretches of coastline, we need strong maritime forces –and that’s coming from a career Army officer.

I served a three-year joint exchange assignment at Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters, now on the chopping block. There I learned the importance of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) and expeditionary operations. This is exactly the type of capability we should be bolstering, not cutting, as we move towards strike operations and away from nation-building.

As we reported earlier, Chief of Staff of the Army General Ray Odierno admitted the Army has not trained for the past six months and has only have two trained and ready combat Brigades. That news, coupled with this report, indicates we are degrading our land combat capability at a very serious time for our national security.

We need more of our retired Senior General and Flag Officers to stand up and speak out against the decimation of our fine fighting force. Contrary to claims by President Obama, Al Qaeda has certainly not been decimated, and they represent only a fraction of the total Islamist threat.

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30 Comments on "Marine Corps Cuts Make No Strategic Sense"

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Dragon
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I am a retired LtCol USMC and am very scared about our future and the USMC. An amateure only cuts Marine Forces.

ol_fart
Guest

the new covers look gay

ol_fart
Guest

not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Stephen Zeigler
Guest

ol fart…..you only meant that as in the old days….gay was happy, delightful, full of pleasure, oh wait it still means that silly me. lol…..the new cover or suggestion for men to wear a gender free cover is obama trying to psych out and demean the Marines. To remove their warrior spirit….it’s not what’s on you but what’s in you…..

ol_fart
Guest

Just a reservist ( 4th tank Batt. ’67-’73)…never saw combat (had the seabag packed a couple of times) but have never felt so scared about our future. Got an M1A on order to go with my mini-14. Hope for the best…prepare for the worst.

gray e four
Guest

Former Cpl here sir. less lean but still mean. I remember my oath and am still prepared to give for my country. getting back into shape at over forty sucks but I plan to be prepared to defend my redneck corner till I die. Sempre Fi

GLukey
Guest

the disturbing direction of decisions is from not an amateur but one with a clear path of debasing a superpower. Patriots need to unite, not be scared of this threat.

Edwin Knowles
Guest

Obama is a Clear and Present Danger!!!

Packy Flickinger
Guest

Isn’t this what Obama wants? An America who can’t fight his Muslim terrorist friends. Former Marine Sgt. 1st and 3rd MAW. Seems to me the only battle we need now is to take the whitehouse back.

7bill_lee7
Guest

It starts with taking the GOP back and that starts now to win 2014.

Susan
Guest

It makes a lot of sense to cut our Marine Corps if it is the goal of this president and his administration to weaken the US and strengthen the terrorists. That is the goal and unfortunately we are seeing it succeed.

God Bless our military, they are they bravest men and women in the world.

I am sorry that your Commander in Chief is an un-American, anti-American, know nothing, do nothing, coward. He is forcing all American military to be targeted by the terrorists, the media, the liberal Americans.

Tanya Grimsley
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For you LTC Allen West – How many of your supporters feel about you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqegppuwDZk

CaptGene
Guest

Colonel, in Vietnam I’d have followed you in to Hell or taken “Point” on your order. I would love nothing more than to see you leading the Republic, Sir!

Heneryg
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Must take out enemy #1

Terry Terrell
Guest

Yes, Obama

BigMama
Guest

Yet spending 8 million on new hats is a priority. Wake up America before its too late.

stacy peacock
Guest

Cut USMC funding…but get every Marine gets a new hat (head cover) first …

Virgil Ferguson
Guest

We need them to join Tea Party. I believe this administration plans to use the military to confiscate guns and a lot of us have no plans to relinquish ours. We need capable military to lead us.

7Out7
Guest

Weakening Marines, but arming private army called DHS. Hmmm. What can that mean?

Candi
Guest

Communism in the works …

William Fuzi
Guest
well you take the number of Marines that will be left after the cuts. Then you have to remember that a certain percentage of that number will be women, by law. Then you take into account the amount of ammo, and supplies that can be carried by the infantry unit. Then you make adjustments to that amount, because women can’t carry as much as men. Now you put the normal company size unit of Marines, men and women into a combat situation. Say we use the example of Landing Zone X-ray in Vietnam. What do you think the outcome would… Read more »
Stephen Zeigler
Guest

you seem to have an bent axle towards women in service. Maybe you could share that view point with the women in Israel.

1WknGma
Guest

I so agree; now is not the time to deplete our military forces. I truly believe Obama wants a socialistic, Hitler type dictatorship & will stop at nothing unless we the people stop him. I for one do not want a Holocaust in America!

DixieCol
Guest

We need more of our Flag Officers to stand up and address the fact that we are not properly acting upon the part of our Oath in which we swear before God “…..to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic….”

Tish
Guest
When will this nightmare end ? something needs to be done,,, and fast.. Is there not a single soul in our military,,willing to save this country ? how many Navy Seals need to be murdered ? How many hero’s need to be left behind ? How many lies do we have to endure ? how many muslim brotherhood members will we accept being infiltrated into obama’s regime ? How long are we willing to accept being targeted by none other than obama’s IRS, NSA, EPA, DEA..etc etc. How much propaganda are we willing to listen too ? If we lose,… Read more »
Paus
Guest
I’m not at all familiar with how the sequestration is supposed to work, just that heavy cuts are required. So saying……does the law specify the cuts have to be made in the personnel area? Or just that the military budget has to be cut? Last night I saw an item about changing the USMC cover (hat) and that it would cost many millions of dollars to do that. Is that necessary? Besides it looks kind of dorky. What do the covers have to do with defending our country? Wouldn’t warm bodies be a better spending? I spent 25 years handling… Read more »
Beckah
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The cuts were not that heavy, and the Republicans nearly rejoiced at any cuts at all, even if it was originally Obama’s idea. And just as during the government “shut down”, the cuts could come from different places than they are…but that won’t be allowed. He knew it would come to this, and that the military would be decimated, and it would be the Republicans fault. None of this was an accident.

Paus
Guest

Was/Is there ever a doubt of where all this is going?

Cletus
Guest
Well, as an Army officer, I have been saying for years that my senior leaders are too vested in the political side of things to speak out against what we all see and hear. This is a complete travesty, where men and women good enough to fight for the 10+ years we have been involved in combat, are now being held to a higher standard than what was required during the last 10 years, simply because we don’t need them anymore. Whether it be misdemeanors (where you have to self report), tattoo’s that were OK just a few months ago,… Read more »
TimboT
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All those who have been cut are on Patriotic Standby until the situation arises to fight against tyranny.