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TechNet Asia-Pacific: The Marines Look Beyond Joint

November 5, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Being joint is not sufficient for military operations in the 21st century, say leaders of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific. Col. Scott Blankenship, USMC, the G-6 for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said that the complex environment of the 21st century requires new cooperative security concepts.

Central to these is to stay engaged with traditional partners while engaging with potential new partners. The Marines have worked with nontraditional partners such as Cambodia and Mongolia, and they are extending their efforts to other nations as well. Cultural, as well as technological, barriers must be overcome.

But even interoperability with existing allies can be difficult, the colonel allowed. In many cases, the common denominator for communications among partner nations is the host nation's cell/lease line phone system along with unclassified e-mail.

And while the Marines are looking beyond jointness, it remains an elusive goal. Col. Blankenship said that the Goldwater-Nichols Act was not a panacea, as services still drive requirements and hold the funding.

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