United States Marine Corps Post-Cold War Evolutionary Efforts: Implications for a Post Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Force   [open pdf - 530KB]

From the thesis abstract: "This monograph asks, what lessons can the contemporary Marine Corps learn from its transition from the post-Cold War and Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm period, during the 1990s, that are applicable during the current period of transition following the conclusion of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom? The thesis describes how, during the 1990s, in a time of budgetary constraints and personnel draw downs, the Marine Corps benefited from the efforts of forward thinking strategic leaders, namely Commandants of the Marine Corps Alfred Gray and Charles Krulak. These leaders developed groundbreaking doctrinal concepts, published updates to foundational guidance, and capitalized on future thinking experimentation, which enabled initial full spectrum military successes in Afghanistan and Iraq without compromising its ability to conduct a wider range of military operations if required. This monograph draws conclusions from this period of transition and transformation and provides recommendations for how the Marine Corps should be thinking and acting during this contemporary period of transition in the wake of Global War on Terrorism operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This monograph looks at the Marine Corps' current operational role as it supports, or detracts from, the Corps' long-term relevancy or if current strategic leaders need to focus on innovative capabilities and concepts to support future war fighters and its ability to wage war."

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