Accession Number:

ADA510287

Title:

Application of the Classic Light Infantry Model in Afghanistan

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-02-20

Pagination or Media Count:

18.0

Abstract:

Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025 assesses the future security environment as one characterized by what it terms hybrid conflicts. Combining the lethality of modern state capabilities with the fervor, fanaticism, and unpredictability of irregular threats, future adversaries in these conflicts will seek to neutralize the conventional military might of U.S. forces by selecting from the whole menu of tactics and technologies which best fit their own strategic culture and geography. Coalition forces have seen early glimpses of this in the current fights in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF has unfolded, the Marine Corps has adapted to meet this evolving threat. The adaptation, however, has seen infantry battalions grow heavier, more mounted, and increasingly reliant on higher and supporting agencies for fires both kinetic and nonkinetic and logistics. Emphasizing unique training and operating considerations compared to the fight in Iraq, Army and Marine Corps units have noted consistently that many of these changes do not translate well to Afghanistan. Facing challenging terrain, both physical and human, and an elusive, adaptive, and complex enemy, the Marine Corps is unlikely to find long-term success with a forward operating base mindset, a force protection-first approach, patrolling in armored vehicles, and relying on precision-guided munitions to win the day. The fluid complexities of the battlefield in Afghanistan call for an equally flexible, adaptive approach that matches the enemys cunning and resourcefulness. Such an approach can be found in the training and employment concepts of classic light infantry units. Due to the nature of the physical and human terrain and the character of the enemy, the Marine Corps should incorporate the precepts of the classic light infantry model to train and employ infantry battalions deploying to Afghanistan.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE