January 29 2014
The hard-won lessons of parallel counterinsurgency missions conducted in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade will serve the U.S. Marine Corps well as it faces new challenges around the world in the coming years, Marine Corps Commandant James F. Amos told a gathering at RAND's Washington headquarters Tuesday.
Amos, the 35th commandant of the Marine Corps who has announced plans to retire in October, said he expects the Corps' mission after Afghanistan and Iraq to center around shorter-term challenges as they arise, including the provision of humanitarian aid and disaster assistance.
“I don't think in my lifetime it's going to go away,” Amos told a gathering of RAND staff and media. Among the lasting lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan: that counterinsurgency missions are conducted amid “human terrain,” that culture and language count, and that Marines must be prepared to operate in chaotic and diverse environments.