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Remaining Relevant in the 21st Century
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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Is the Marine Corps operational concept Operational Maneuver from the Sea and the 31st Commandants Planning Guidance the direction in which the Marine Corps should be going to remain relevant in the 21st century political and military environment Are there any institutional changes in doctrine that should be made to enhance the Marine Corps relevancy in the future We are entering an era of smaller, mainly unconventional and culturally motivated conflicts waged for the most part either inside national boundaries or in an environment in which boundaries do not matter. These crises range from well-publicized natural disasters, to ethnic unrest, to civil wars. While the American military is now focused on major regional conflicts, the most likely challenges it will confront in the future already exist in the form of ethnic and religious conflicts, international terrorism, and drug trafficking. The forces required for such operations are generally small in number and have specialized capabilities designed to arbitrate, contain, and control conflict reestablish stability or assist other governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private voluntary organizations in accomplishing these missions. The Marine Corps of the 21st century is envisioned to be oriented toward the worlds littoral regions, operating forward deployed, with the capability to respond swiftly to any emerging crises by projecting sustainable combined arms power from the sea to any foreign shore. The Marine Corps will be a strategically mobile, tactically flexible, and immediately ready force inextricably linked to the Navy for the projection and presence of Naval power overseas. Marines must be prepared to seize, through forcible entry operations, and defend an adversarys port, naval base, or coastal air base to enable the flowentry of follow-on land-based air and ground forces. The MEF will be the Marine Corps principal warfighting organization.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE