Friday, June 18, 2004

The Battle Between the Office Pogs and the Warriors: Pogs are Winning

{William S. Lind on the struggle for the life of the Marine Corps that can turn and burn on a dime vs. one that just wants to belly up at the Hogs Trough Saloon.}

Almost any Marine knows the two Marine Corps. One is the heir of the maneuver warfare movement of the 1970s and '80s, of Marine Gen. Al Gray and Warfighting, of free-play training, officer education focused on how to think, not what to do, of the belief that the highest goal of all Marines is winning in combat with the smallest possible losses. This is the Marine Corps that led the advance to Baghdad in the first phase of the ongoing war in Iraq. It is also the Marine Corps that recently "fought smart" in Fallujah by not taking the city.

The other Marine Corps' highest goal is programs, money and bureaucratic success "inside the Beltway." Its priorities are absurdities such as the MV-22 "Albatross" aircraft and reviving the 1990s "Sea Worm" project under the label "distributed operations," which are referred to openly at Quantico as "putting lipstick on a pig." This Marine Corps is anti-intellectual, sees the First Generation culture of order as sacred, believes that sufficient rank justifies any idiot and regards politics, not combat, as the "real world."

Regrettably, in the war between these two Marine Corps, the second one is winning.

Outside View: Two Marine Corps - (United Press International)

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