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Organizing and Training the Military Police for the Global War on Terrorism

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Research paper

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Since the catastrophic events of September 2001, the Marine Corps has been thrust into a new kind of warfare the global war on terrorism. The Marine Corps involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF are examples of this new kind of warfare. Such operations will be increasingly characterized by a transition from major combat operations to stability and support operations SASO. In the SASO environment, unique threats emerge that demand a focus on rear area operations across the noncontiguous battlespace. In SASO operations, the old concept of an easily identified rear area no longer exists, necessitating a major change to military police organization. The current garrison-centric approach to organizing and training military police units will have to undergo a major overhaul if the military police are truly to become a MAGTF force multiplier. Marine Corps and joint doctrine identifies rear area operations functions as the following security, communications, intelligence, sustainment, area management, movements, infrastructure development, and host-nation support. The first function is security, the all-important force protection element that enables the other functions to occur. Military police, which provide and support the gamut of security operations, are a key ingredient in rear area operations. All five of the following military police missions are critical in the SASO environment support for anti-terrorismforce protection operations, maneuver and mobility support operations, area security operations, law and order operations, and internment operations. The time has come for MPs to fill the role as a combat multiplier to the MAGTF commander. This can only occur by divorcing the MPs from their historical garrison law enforcement role, consolidating them into battalions as MEF assets, and training them for their most important mission, supporting the MAGTF.

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  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

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