Gates Challenges Marine Corps’ Mission

The Marine Corps is facing a historic defeat at the hands of Defense Secretary Roberts Gates, and hardly anyone inside or outside the Corps seems to grasp what is happening. On January 6, Gates disclosed a series of proposed budget cuts that included termination of an amphibious vehicle the Marines have been developing for 15 years. He said the vehicle cost too much — around $17 million per copy — and that the service therefore should extend the life of existing amphibious vehicles while searching for a more affordable replacement. Gates stressed that, “This decision does not call into question the Marines’ amphibious assault mission.”

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