Restoring the Sacred

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Victor Davis Hanson: Marinestan

Military Historian and former Classics Professor Victor Davis Hanson paid tribute to the United States Marine Corps (the finest fighting machine the world has ever seen) in this piece on National Review Online today.

Since World War II, the Marines have turned up almost anywhere that America found itself in a jam against supposedly unconquerable enemies — in such bloody places as Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir in Korea, at Hue and Khe Sanh during the Vietnam War, at the two bloody sieges of Fallujah in Iraq, and now in Afghanistan.

Over the last two centuries, two truths have emerged about the Marine Corps. One, they defeat the toughest of America’s adversaries under the worst of conditions. And two, periodically their way of doing things — and their eccentric culture of self-regard — so bothers our military planners that some higher-ups try either to curb their independence or to end the Corps altogether.

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, retired three-star Army general Karl W. Eikenberry, reportedly made a comment about there being 41 nations serving in Afghanistan — and a 42nd composed of the Marine Corps. One unnamed Obama-administration official was quoted by the Washington Post as saying, “We have better operational coherence with virtually all of our NATO allies than we have with the U.S. Marine Corps.”

The technological and political face of war is always changing. But its essence — organized violence to achieve political ends — has not changed since antiquity. Conflict will remain the same as long as human nature does.

The Marines have always understood that. And from the Marines’ initial mission against the Barbary pirates to the battles in Fallujah, Americans have wanted a maverick Marine Corps — a sort of insurance policy that will keep them safe, just in case.

You can read the whole article by clicking below.
Marinestan - Victor Davis Hanson - National Review Online


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