The Marine Corps Is Waging ‘Civil War’ With A Secretive Group Of Retired Officers Over The Service’s Future

  • The Marine Corps has come under fire from retired officers who say that outgoing General David Berger’s sweeping restructuring plan undermines both national security and the Marine Corps’ fundamental character.
  • Berger’s plans call for a smaller, lighter and more technical force, which he claims could better assist the United States in its fight against China.
  • “Their ‘debate’ is certainly a cultural issue, not a combat issue,” Brian Kaag, a researcher at the Marine Corps University Crack Center, said in a social media statement.

The U.S. Marine Corps faces criticism from retired senior officials as outgoing commanders hand over responsibility for implementing radical changes to new leadership, according to experts and a review of debates among current and retired Marines. It is said that

A clandestine group of retired Marine generals, including two former Marine Corps commanders, has responded to what multiple articles have characterized as the dangerous bigotry that underlies Marine Commander David Berger’s force renewal plan. resumed years of attacks. latest update Released on Monday. With Berger set to retire by the end of the year and be replaced by a second-in-command, the military will face new struggles amid new leadership and political pressure, with the stakes in China. The paper said it could mean a failure in the dispute with Professionals and Veterans.

“There’s an intellectual civil war going on in the Marine Corps,” Mark Cancian, a former Marine Corps reserve colonel and senior adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. (Related: ‘Something is very wrong’: Experts say America’s most powerful tool against China is at stake)

Burger 2020 announced The Marine Corps’ new vision, Force Design 2030 (FD30), rests in part on the assumption that China will become the greatest threat to the United States over the next decade, with the Indo-Pacific becoming a major hotspot.

Opponent Said This program jeopardizes national security by limiting the Marine Corps’ ability to deal with various types of threats around the world, violating the Code, and undermining the Marine Corps morale.

Aware of the growing information campaign against FD30, Berger formulated the 2023 update to address some of these concerns.

“The first two pages of the update rebut the generals’ criticisms, portraying FD2030 as a global coalition, readiness force,” Kanxian told the DCNF.

In December, retired generals, members of a largely anonymous group dubbed “Chowder II” after the 1946 Chowder Society that saved the Marine Corps from extinction, published A series of National Interest articles detail the opposition to FD2030. The exact number of Chowder II is unknown, but former commanders General James Amos and General Charles Krulak are included.

“Retired generals want a more traditional design with global application and combined weapons, but the FD 2030 targets the Western Pacific and China, and focuses on missile forces.” Kanshian explained.

In order to fund experiments and investments in “standby forces” and “expeditionary high base operations” to protect the islands, Berger decided to abolish all tanks, the “maneuvering” element of the army, and replace the infantry, marines and artillery units with the “mobility” element of the army. reduced the number of according toTo CSIS analysis. Krulak and former Marine and U.S. Central Command Commander, Gen. Anthony Gini, have identified the legislatively mandated basic elements of the force’s mission and organization: infantry, artillery, armor and close air support operations. This means that it is not very suitable for doing both at the same time. claimed.

The Ukrainian war, with its heavy reliance on ground maneuver warfare, highlights the risks inherent in Berger’s strategy of prioritizing light, highly mobile amphibious forces, Kanshian said.

But under FD30, the Corps will return to its maritime roots and follow the lead of the military commander-in-chief, proponents say. Berger reacts to President Trump’s positioning of China as a key strategic challenge for the U.S. military in 2018. national defense strategy and Biden’s 2022 editionthey say.

“These officers are essentially urging commanders to ignore strategic guidance from the president and secretary of defense,” said Robert Work, a former undersecretary of defense and Marine artillery officer. I have written A May reply to the Chowder II article added that it was time for retired officers to stop trying to turn the FD30 into a tank.

“We are not waiting for 2030 or 2027 or 2025. Marines are ready to handle any crisis starting today,” says the promotional video for the 2023 FD30 update. state.

The 2023 update did not implement any major changes, instead announcing that the Marine Corps had completed the “sale” phase and was ready to double down on “investments.” It calls for testing a fleet of kamikaze attack drones, specifically increasing the number of infantry units from the initial target of 735 to 811.

“Infantry battalion composition is very important because infantry has traditionally been the heart of the Marine Corps,” Kanxian told DCNF.

The update mentions a redesigned reconnaissance unit, hypersonic rocket boosters, and a “long-range strike projectile” that can travel long distances across the Pacific. according to to breaking defense. It also concedes that procuring 35 warships of a particular type within the specified time frame would be impossible given Berger’s goal of staying within budget, but that 31 amphibious warships would not be possible. claims.

“The original FD 2030 argued that large amphibious ships were too expensive and too fragile. [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] And the Navy proposed cutting them to 24 to 27. Since then, the Marine Corps has been working with Congress to justify higher numbers,” Kanshian said.

‘It’s only part of the problem’

Congress appears to be largely in favor of reorganizing the Marine Corps.

parliamentary appropriator admired In a letter dated May 15, Berger said the company is aggressively modernizing, taking on the significant risks associated with deprecating certain features. They particularly appreciated Berger for planning the transition without asking or expecting additional budgetary support, saving the Pentagon’s top budget $15.8 billion.

Burger”Made difficult investment and divestment decisions that deviated from conventional thinkinginstitutional and doctrinal norms,” ​​wrote the bipartisan group of lawmakers, nodding to opposition parties including Chowder II. “But we should applaud the Marine Corps’ willingness to make difficult decisions for the country Strategic advantage and safety. “

President Joe Biden has not commented on the FD30.The Pentagon finally appears on board Kangxian said the Corps is undergoing a rapid transformation.

“The initiative has received strong support from the Secretary of the Navy and to a lesser extent from the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman,” he said.

On May 31, Mr. Biden named General Eric Smith, the deputy commander of the Marine Corps, to replace Mr. Berger. Smith advocated FD30 against detractors and has been at the forefront of implementing that proposal. according to to breaking defense.

This also [President Biden] We are working to reorganize the Corps,” said former senator candidate and Marine lieutenant colonel Amy McGrath. Said in a statement on social media.

Moreover, sergeant. Major Carlos Ruiz will replace Sergeant in August. Maj. Troy Black, who has served as the Commander’s Chief Petty Officer Advisor since 2019 and has been responsible for morale and discipline issues across ranks, said: according to Go to press release.

The new sergeant-major will have to deal with the challenges arising from FD30-related missions.

“The Marine Corps is also interested in the idea that the Marine Corps will bring in an expert who does not have every military technology that has ever been known. We will have to deal with opposition from senior non-commissioned officers,” Kanxian said.

The Marine Corps Licensed With an army size of 177,000, it feels pressure to maintain its reputation as a force that can respond quickly anywhere, anytime. The Marine Corps has had less difficulty recruiting than the rest of the military sector, but has had difficulty recruiting, with 28,608 active duty enlisted officers and 1,592 active duty officers in fiscal year 2022, just above its target. I expect it to accompany according to To Marine Corps Times.

‘FD2030 is only part of the problem’ – Marine Rob Barrow I have written The military service discussion forum said the military had also bowed to political pressure to open up military service to women and allow transgender Marines to serve in their claimed gender. .

“What would Chowder II answer if asked about their position on these issues?” says Brian Kaag, a researcher at the Marine Corps University Crack Center. I have written in a statement on social media.

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