James Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps, told reporters the Marines no longer can maintain the strain of fighting all over the world in a nonstop fashion. “We can’t have one foot in Afghanistan and one foot in Iraq. I believe that would be–an analogy would be having one foot in the canoe and one foot on the bank. You can’t be there long.” He is concerned how the wars impact training programs for the corps. “We are not doing that kind of multi-capable training that we historically do in order to be that swing force and arguably the first to fight.”
The necessity of constantly being engaged in fighting has created a new generation of men and whome who do not have an understanding of the marine corps historic role to be a lightening fast force that deals with situations and then leaves them for the Army to handle. Conway realizes 3,000 Marines are headed for Aghanistan and “if there is a determination to send more Marines to Afghanistan, I would certainly be respectfully requesting that we reduce our presence in Iraq.”
There is just so much America’s armed forces can do in defending their nation. At some point, American society will have to decide if it wishes to be policeman of the world, then it can not be done by relying solely on volunteers.