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The Marine Corps and Technology

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Abstract

Lake examines the Marine Corps, an organization whose culture and approach to war demonstrate relatively little affinity for technology, and shows that the Corps is also subject to the American affinity for technology. This chapter focuses on how the amphibious warfare and expeditionary warfare missions have shaped the Marine Corps, and how the particular needs of those missions have created the conditions for the Marines to also push for technological solutions. By looking at specific Marine procurement programs such as the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), V-22 Osprey, and F-35B “jump jet,” Lake shows that the Marines are also prone to the enthusiastic embrace of technology in ways that increase their potential for suffering from overstretch.

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  • DOI: 10.1057/978-1-349-78681-7_7
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Notes

  1. 1.

    Note that this was a very different dynamic than the Army experienced fighting the nineteenth- century “small wars” against Native Americans. In those conflicts, the Army’s mission was typically to subdue the foe without any need for concern about political niceties.

  2. 2.

    The replacement of the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), the “Ship-to-Shore Connector” (SSC), is expected to cost about $55 million each. (United States Government Accountability Office 2017, pp. 119–120).

  3. 3.

    This was the argument used by Dick Spivey in marketing materials used to sell the Marines on tiltrotor aircraft.

  4. 4.

    Analyses of combat operations indicated that for air support to do any good it needed to be engaging the foe within 30 minutes at most, and within 10 minutes was much better (Nordeen 2006, p. 4).

  5. 5.

    Bigger and heavier aircraft are slower, less maneuverable, and easier for the enemy to detect. In addition, the space needed to allow the F-35B to have a lift fan and the bomb bay to be mounted internally (to retain stealth capability) makes the fuselage have a larger cross section. This increases drag and as a result lowers acceleration and raises fuel consumption.

  6. 6.

    This has also been helped by the Corps’ mastery of public relations.

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Correspondence to Daniel R. Lake .

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Lake, D.R. (2019). The Marine Corps and Technology. In: The Pursuit of Technological Superiority and the Shrinking American Military. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-78681-7_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-78681-7_7

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, New York

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-137-33062-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-78681-7

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