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With yesterday marking the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks it is important to remember the sacrifice of so few, for so many. Our grandfathers and grandmothers were caught up in a terrible time in world history and for most braved not only a crippling economic collapse but, the largest war the world has ever seen in a little over a decade. For many Americans it can somewhat ring true to today having been engaged in a fight that was started by others as thousands of men and women have answered the call to fight once again overseas with an economy that has seen better times itself.
Each branch will face its own unique internal battle in determining ways to tighten funding belts. The internal battles over who gets what has been going on for months now but, given the significant footprint draw down in Iraq and pending in Afghanistan, the Services will be able to get back to peacetime operations and spending at the same time. Defense cuts may affect operational capabilities, research and development, manpower or even abilities to operate in such a diverse and widespread as witnessed in Afghanistan and Iraq and the last decade. For the foreseeable military funding future, tough choices will be made by leaders on which programs to continue with and which to scrap. Some are blatantly obvious while others will be difficult decisions for the branch Chiefs and Secretaries who are in charge.
A great article was written this weekend in the Washington Post http://tinyurl.com/84adqro which quoted the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos talking about how the Marine Corps for one, needs to return to it’s core fundamentals, expeditionary operations. This is true for all of the services, returning to their basic operational structure while simultaneously preparing for future unknowns. For the Marine Corps according to General Amos it will be returning to constant rotations in the Pacific both in Japan and Australia to reaffirm their amphibious expeditionary operations. Australia for one is a great ally for training and combat. An annual exercise which is run on the Australian coastline includes elements of all the US Military and our Aussie counterparts in large scale operations. Talisman Sabre is a great event which is run every summer and surely puts lots of Marines back to sea to take a beach head in addition to elements of the US Army dropping in from above. It will be very interesting to see how this may shape up in the next few decades of funding and the ever important operational tie in.