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Lt. Gen. David Barno, USA (ret.) and Nora Bensahel, contributing editors of War On The Rocks, outline the new Marine Corps strategy, and the impact it could have on the other branches.

The Marine Corps is shaking up their strategy. Commandant David Berger’s new policy document outlines how the service will prepare for future conflicts by radically changing their approach. Nora Bensahel, contributing editor of War On The Rocks, says that the guidance represents a new way of thinking about strategy.


“This is really revolutionary guidance. It talks about a new role for the Marine Corps focusing primarily on maritime operations and primarily in the Pacific, after the Marines were involved in two large land wars and other types of operations,” Bensahel said. “In particular, it’s very revolutionary in the way the commandant talks about what types of equipment and systems he sees the corps needing in the future, particularly moving from large expensive systems to much smaller, unmanned, more dispersible capabilities. That’s really further than any other chief of staff of any service has gone.”


Lt. Gen. David Barno, USA (ret.), contributing editor of War on the Rocks, says that the commandant’s strategy is very prescient.


“I think Gen. Berger sees the future of war is different than what many of the services seem to be thinking about right now. He’s now putting some meat on the bones of how to address that. He realizes that he’s going to be fighting in a contested maritime domain,” Barno said. “He’s really thinking about how to fight in this new environment in ways that are very different than how the Marines have fought before. Policy wise, I think the big challenge is that we buy big systems, we build huge expensive ships, some of which cost more than a billion dollars apiece. He’s challenging that orthodoxy.”



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