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The Need to Increase Marine Corps Special Operations Command

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Master's thesis

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THESIS As the U.S. leadership increasingly relies on Special Operations Forces SOF to prosecute the Global War on Terrorism GWOT, the U.S. Marine Corps must contribute more forces to USSOCOM in order to optimally support the US strategic objective of combating irregular threats. DISCUSSION Irregular warfare IW is the form of warfare the United States faces for at least the next decade. U.S. conventional warfighting dominance has assured this reality. In 1987 Congress created the Special Operations Command USSOCOM in part for the purpose of countering the IW threat with the nations most elite forces. The Marine Corps did not participate in the pioneering USSOCOM for a variety of reasons. Over time, the Marine Corps decision not to contribute forces proved to be illogical and not been in the best interest of the Marine Corps or the nation. Finally, in 2006, the Marine Corps reluctantly formed the Marine Special Operations Command MARSOC much to the chagrin of many within the Corps. Despite overwhelming evidence that this Marine contribution to USSOCOM is in the best interest of the nation, parochialism is preventing MARSOC from receiving the support it needs to effectively support the U.S. global struggle against extremist threats. CONCLUSION National leadership has clearly articulated its belief that SOF are the preferred forces to serve as main effort in the Global War on Terror. The Marine Corps must overcome its institutional bias against special operations forces and fully commit the resources required to ensure MARSOC success.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

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