U.S. MARINE CORPS
U.S. Marines with Company E, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine
Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), disembark from their assault amphibious vehicle to provide security for an amphibious
raid on Hat Yao Beach, Thailand, conducted with the Royal Thai Marines during
Exercise Cobra Gold 2006. The Marine Corps is expected to advance the “
two-fisted fighter” vision of conducting counterinsurgency and amphibious assault
operations in its roles and missions review.
force “committed to global security
and prosperity” while defending the
homeland and national interests
During these reviews, the new
Navy and Marine Corps QDR
offices are expected to be advancing the case the two services —
along with the Coast Guard — outlined for themselves last fall in
“The Cooperative Strategy for 21st
Century Seapower” and initiatives
spelled out in the last “Naval
Operations Concept” from 2006.
“Achieving these imperatives in a
dynamic and uncertain security
environment can give rise to competing strategic directions for capability, capacity and concept development,” Vice Adm. John Harvey,
director of the Navy Staff, wrote in a
May 1 message announcing the creation of the Navy QDR office. “In
turn, these competing strategic
directions confront a fiscal environment in many ways as dynamic as
that of the security environment.”
The new Navy QDR Integration Group, led by Rear
Adm. William Burke, absorbed the staff of the former
Deep Blue shop formed at the turn of the century to
deal with sensitive issues that the chief of naval operations wanted addressed quickly.
Similarly, the Marine Corps this spring established
its QDR Integration Group, headed by Maj. Gen.
Robert Schmidle, who had a key OSD position within
the office of the deputy commandant for programs and
resources during the 2006 QDR.
Both offices declined to comment for this report,
citing a desire to wait until the review is under way
before speaking publicly.
The sea services are expected to make the case during
this review for their role as the world’s pre-eminent maritime power, which provides the United States a naval
Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., is a member
of the House Armed Services
Committee with a unique perspective on these reviews. As a Navy captain, he was involved in preparing
the service’s presentation to the 1994
Roles and Missions Commission; he
also worked on the Navy team that
represented the service in the 1997
QDR and led the sea service’s 2001 QDR efforts.
“I think the biggest challenge is going to be the recognition by Congress and the military that roles and missions should no longer be on what differentiates the
services — such as how many air forces do you need
and who is responsible for amphibious warfare?
Changing from that mindset to finding out what is common to all the services … what the services all have in
common is the new domain of cyberspace,” Sestak said.
The services are unlikely to voluntarily fashion such
alliances. However, this summer’s review may help frame
issues regarding new capability areas to be wrestled with
in earnest during next year’s QDR. Matters that are purely
organizational and too complex for immediate resolution
likely will be examined in depth during the 2011
Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review. ■