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A rejoinder to a rejoinder…The USMC strikes back!

My respects to Mr. Bainter, but he is overlooking the fact that air superiority includes knocking out air defense sites. This is not something bombers excel at: the shorter range fighters and attack planes are used for SEAD (suppression enemy air defense) missions.

It usually takes a combination of assets to win. For some operations, such as Grenada, all the necessary assets were contained within the Marines, but the other services insisted on playing too. So, we had 50 SEALS drown in rough seas and 7,000 Rangers shooting at each other across their horseshoe-shaped front lines while a Marine battalion took the island.

In Afganistan, as in Kuwait/Iraq, it is taking combined assets from all the services to manage the war effort effectively. I think that Mr. de Havilland’s point was that if the Navy/Marine Corps mix had been different, the Navy/Marine Corps team probably wouldn’t have been able to participate.

And it is seldom obvious to outsiders, but someone is always trying to reduce or do away with the Marine Corps. This has been true ever since WW II.

Chris Pastel

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