The recognition of the changing environment in irregular warfare will determine the direction that the Marine Corps will change in future. War is always changing and it is the duty of everyone to respond to these changes or to find ways of countering them (Dubik, 2002). Increasingly, many of the people engaged in irregular warfare are getting access of sophisticated weapons. Some have gone to the extent of looking for nuclear weapons. Radicalism, religious intolerance, and terrorist activities have increased in many parts of the world. Areas that were currently thought as safe are no longer secure as they face the risk of terrorist attacks. The war has become global in nature. These changes identify the necessity to change operations in the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps can no longer work alone. There will be need for more global partnerships as irregular war has become international (Dobson, 2012). Irregular warfare has become decentralized and it is no longer restricted to a specific region (Attachment 2: CC6715REQA). The events that happen in one place will affect other regions as well. In future, the Marine Corps will focus on building these global partnerships. These collaborations will include practical assistance in the form of training and equipping partners, as well as advising and offering intelligence.

The Marine Corps will be responsible for finding ways of responding to the changing nature of irregular wars using cost effective means. As increase in irregular warfare continues, so does the cost of fighting the wars. Partnerships will help in reducing these costs. However, in future, the Marine Corps will also focus on innovation. They will look at ways of developing low cost weapons. They will also look at the possibility of using different strategies that will be more effective in terms of costs. Having a smaller force with more skills and capabilities is better and more effective. In addition, this move is also cost effective (Dobson, 2012). Offering training and education opportunities as well as equipping the smaller force will be easier. This will lead to increased specialization, which will be a necessity in the future. Increased education opportunities means that personnel will have chances of acquiring multiple skills. Having personnel with multiple skills and capabilities is already a necessity and it will continue to be so in the future. Moreover, it is easier to manage a smaller force and to ensure accountability than it is to manage a larger force.

In future, the Marine Corps will be responsible for collecting reliable intelligence that will lead to the formulation of better strategies. Irregular wars are often ad hoc. It will be the responsibility of the Marine Corps to ensure that it is capable of responding to the sudden threats. Collecting intelligence includes being in a position to know how different groups engaged in irregular war recruit their warriors (Dobson, 2012). This means understanding the socioeconomic and political situations of different regions. Economies with different political structures will often wage war differently (Dubik, 2002). They are main factors in determining how the recruitment process occurs. Groups involved in irregular wars will often target vulnerable individuals such as the marginalized and poor in the society. They will also change the way they operate as they incorporate more use of technology. This understanding and knowledge is necessary in reducing recruitment opportunities. Collecting intelligence will be one of the main roles of the Marine Corps in future. They will not only be involved in reacting to situations, but they will also focus on finding ways of preventing the occurrence of irregular wars. Reducing the occurrence of wars will mean greater investment in technology and education.

The future Marine Corps should be able to counter all ways of methods of irregular wars, including cyber attacks. The concept of irregular wars continues to change in dimension and focus. It also continues to expand to areas that were once considered peace havens. The future marine corps will have many responsibilities in future. They will have to respond to the changes of irregular wars. Partnerships and gathering of intelligence will be fundamental in future.


Dobson, Robert. 2012. “Irregular Warfare and the Marine Corps: A Changed Security Environment Creates New Opportunities.” Marine Corps Gazette. http://www.hqmc.marines.mil/Portals/138/Docs/PL/PLU/iwandthemarinecorps.pdf

Dubik, James. 2002. “Has Warfare Changed? Sorting Apples from Oranges.” An Institute of Land Warfare Publication.

Class Notes 2: CC6715REQA. Part 1: The Constants

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