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Proposed Changes to the Marine Corps: A Response to China's Actions

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January 1, 1970
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China and The Corps

The criticism of the recent and proposed changes to the structure of the Marine Corps has been robust. The elimination of tank assets and proposed streamlining of units has made the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Berger, an open target for criticism.Several months ago in the article titled "The Commandant's Gamble", American Grit detailed the proposed changes and the rationale behind them. However since the proposed changes, many now already in effect, questions have risen as to how the Marine Corps will be able to deal with an increasingly belligerent China?

A Panel of Experts

American Grit brought together a panel of experts to discuss the Corps' changes as well as to better understand the potential threat of China.Our panel included:Brigadier General Joseph Medina USMC (Ret)- BG Medina was featured last year in the article "The General's Armada". BG Medina was the first Marine to command a Naval Task Force, he is an expert on maritime based operations and warfare as well as an authority on the Asia Pacific region. He also has resided in China and since retiring from active duty, worked extensively in the regionColonel Andrew Milburn USMC (Ret)- "Andy" has also been featured on American Grit in the article "An Interview with former Marine Raider Regiment CO" . The author of "When the Tempest Gathers", Andy is one of the of the most respected leaders when it comes to proxy and contingency operations.William Gibbons CEO Armor Uplifters. "Billy" is a Marine combat veteran and spent several years doing consulting work in China and with the the US Embassy in Beijing. He has a deep understanding of China's infrastructure and ambitions. Armor Upfitters manufactures advanced composite armor. They develop a non-metallic composite ballistic armor to upfit heavy-duty trucks, aircraft, transit vans, and UTVs for civilian, commercial, military, and law enforcement purposes.

Understanding China's Game

"Billy" spent over a decade in China and witnessed China's economic, technological, and military growth. Not to mention their ambitions. In speaking with Billy, there was a lot of enlightenment about China."China's end game is to expand it's influence and control, not it's borders"- Billy GibbonsChina's survival and growth depends on it's trade around the world and they have every intention to secure it's ability to do so. Hence China's push for maritime power. In recent years China has leveraged it's trade and financial muscle to establish ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This creates a headache for it rival India and gives China's Navy access to the Indian Ocean and Middle East/Africa Region (MENA). China has already shown it's bully tactics on it's land borders with India, it is only a matter of time that it's Navy does the same.[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1000"]

United States on The India-China Border Skirmish - YOUNGORB

A Chinese soldier verbally threatens an Indian Army officer on the China/India border. Small skirmishes are not uncommon between the two nations.[/caption]China also seeks to develop more proxies. Unlike the Soviets once did through ideology, China seeks to achieve this through debt. This increases the likelihood that US/China confrontations will be indirect and small in scale.

Littoral Strategy

Brigadier General Joseph Medina took command of a Naval Expeditionary Strike Group in 2003. He didn't only make history as the first Marine to do so, but he validated the power and importance of modern littoral warfare strategy. From the sea, BG Medina was able to simultaneously command ship to shore and ship to ship operations.Through the long ground campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine Corps did to an extent shift from it's maritime expeditionary role and it's capabilities.

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