The Marines Are Coming

March 23rd, 2011

By Dan Miller

It has been reported that twenty-two hundred Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) at Camp Lejuene

are joining the fight against Libya…. Their mission is to help end the violence directed at the Libyan people. “In Libya right now they are doing exactly what we need them to do. They are doing what they are told and right now that’s protecting Libyan people against Qadhafi forces,” said Captain Timothy Patrick, a marine with the 26th MEU.

“The fight against Libya?”I hadn’t previously seen it phrased quite like that before.

U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious AssaultU.S. Marine Corps Amphibious AssaultU.S. Marine Corps Amphibious AssaultU.S. Marine Corps Amphibious AssaultStill, if anybody can do it and pull President Obama’s fat out of the fire, the Marines can. However, since they are going to do “what they are told” by their commanders (as one would expect them to do), what have they been and what will they be told to do? Go protect Libyans but don’t hurt anybody except yourselves? Collateral damage is worse than unacceptable and if it happens you will be subject to trial by court martial? What are the rules of engagement? Are they as clear and workable as those in Afghanistan? Will the world see photos of some dead or maimed “innocent civilians” — maybe of Col. Qadhafi “irregulars” and maybe of others used as human shields?

It is not very heroic of President Obama to send elements of the Marine Corpse Corps into harm’s way to help clean up the mess there, after blithering and dithering and making it worse, without clear rules of engagement or with rules which are self-defeating and can be unnecessarily deadly for them.

(This article was also posted at The PJ Tatler.)

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6 Responses to “The Marines Are Coming”

  1. Brian |

    Perhaps I’m overstating things, but I’ve observed down through the years that liberals seem to have a relatively unique skill at not understanding use of force. I saw it locally as a cop in Houston, where whenever a suspect was injured, excessive force charges flew around. If an excessive force complaint were lodged, we were guilty until proven innocent. The department wouldn’t take any disciplinary action against us unless the excessive force complaint was founded, but we had to prove that what we did was justified.

    On a more national scale, we see it in patently absurd ROE. There is only one way to wage war, and that’s all-out – kill the enemy and destroy his war-making ability. Anything less exposes American soldiers to unnecessary risk. If we aren’t willing to go all-out, then we have no business putting our service-men and -women in harm’s way.

    Using force is an ugly business, and there is no such thing as a “surgical” strike. When the bullets start flying and the blood starts flowing, notions of precision fly out the window.

  2. Dan Miller |


    Rules of Engagement don’t remain always the same. Alas, sometimes they leave much room for interpretation, provided that the interpretations are later judged to have been correct.

  3. Brian |

    Dan, I don’t disagree that ROE aren’t always the same, but our soldiers deserve to operate under rules where there is little ambiguity. If the theatre doesn’t permit those straightforward, unambiguous rules, our guys shouldn’t be there.

    We seem anymore to engage our men and women in combat in what I call “hobby wars,” as opposed to the sort of war where the existence of the republic is in imminent danger.

  4. Dan Miller |

    Brian, I am so disgusted that I haven’t been able to do more recently than attempt to be funny. Both this article and this were products of that dementia.

  5. Brian |

    Well, 3 battalions of jarheads Marines is a formidable force, but I’m afraid it’s going to end up the same as the Deltas and Rangers in Mogadishu.

    I’m with you on the disgust-o-meter. I can’t even attempt anything but the blackest of gallows humor.

  6. Tom Carter |

    I don’t know any more about why the Marines are there, but I’d bet pretty confidently it’s for contingency purposes, such as landing by sea or helicopter to rescue American citizens, diplomats or otherwise, or something similar. Quick in and out, in any case.

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