"As for General McChrystal’s “new authority” that was evidently only obtained after “extensive negotiations among military lawyers,” I suspect the author was trying to address the tension that exists whenever higher headquarters seeks to employ for other uses some integral part of a subordinate tactical force." Assuming your guess is correct on aviation assets of MAGTF, well I don't think it is a strong reason to fight tooth and nail over it. A lot of my relations have served and are still serving in the Corps and I hear this all the time regarding MAGTF doctrine. Well to be honest, I think it's baloney. Every Marine (including my son) cites Guadalcanal as the reason for the sanctity of organic CAS component, but does the Corps think it's the only service that's ever been stranded by the Navy? There were over 80,000 Army personnel who were in much worse circumstances in the Philippines back in 1942. This is an institutional problem of the Corps. My experience is limited compared to Col.Lang and some others here, but I've seen similar arrangements in ROK in the 1970s and 1980s. Essentially the EUSA left the eastern sector to the Marines because they didn't want to have anything to do with helping to cauterize what likely would've been massive armored thrusts along the Uijonbu corridor if the KPA had decided to come down. This was repeated in 1990-91 during Desert Shield, when Checkmate and the JFACC were putting together air tasking orders. The Marines consistently ran obstruction against any efforts of coordination by CENTAF. Horner essentially told Glosson to let the Marines do what they want, because he didn't want the headache of going over to Schwarzkopf over and over again to nitpick what the Marines were doing. Dave
Deptula detailed how the Marines would repeatedly undermine CENTAF's development of the Master Attack Plan. (The MC staff would essentially list their primary targets that were unapproved by CENTAF as *secondary targets*. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that depending on who made the call, secondary would be struck rather than primary targets on any given ATO) Even if the Corps is distrustful of other services, one would think common sense would dictate that airspace deconfliction would take priority over service parochialism. The Corps has made a conscious doctrinal decision to rely more on tactical aviation as it decided to shortchange maneuver units of organic indirect firepower (On aside, while towed arty might work against third and fourth rate armies we've been fighting for the last few decades, I seriously doubt it would work against even a second rate ones such as the KPA. The days of towed artillery's survival against semi-competent adversary's counterfire have passed some time ago). You claim that this doctrinal force mix allows the Corps to rely on shorter logistical tail. I think that's fanciful thinking as I know that the 7th MEB didn't fully receive its fixed wing aviation component until early October 1990 despite the Corps repeated advertisement that it had deployed the first real ground forces in Saudi Arabia. The reason for this was the Air Force's refusal to prioritize Marine units transfer for tanker sorties. What's next? Will the Corps buy up its own organic air tankers for aviation wings? The whole reason d'etre of the Marine Corps is its expeditionary capability. I do appreciate the espirit de corps of the Marines as much as anyone, but there's a fine line between parochialism and doctrinal enthusiasm. AFAIC, those A-10 drivers were among the finest Army aviators whether they were Air Force or not. Plenty of infantrymen and tankers in 1991 and in 2003 would gladly buy these men drinks if they'd happen to meet them somewhere. And A-10 drivers are essentially orphans of the Air Force who always saw them as stepchildren. The Marines have always used the 1986 Omnibus Agreement to limit opcon of its air assets (WTF is "excess air" in high intensity ground operations?). Well, if the doctrinal soundness (or at least flexibility) of the Corps had foreseen that its armor component wasn't sufficient in Kuwait, perhaps they could've done without either the 1st British Armoured or the Tiger Brigade (Gen. de la Billiere forced Schwarzkopf to take the UK division away from the Marines in November 1990, because he felt they were doing their best to reenact Tarawa. In fact as LTG Bernard Trainor recounted Commandant Gray wanted to fire Boomer after a briefing in December 1990. Gray actually said "This is going to be another Tarawa. You are going right into their teeth."). That's why the Tiger Brigade were under tacon not opcon as the Brits weren't the only ones who were distrustful of the Marine Corps doctrinal efficacy in those days. Institutional parochialism hasn't been just limited to air assets. Just look at the whole SOC-capable nonsense. It took SOCOM decades to bring the Marine Corps to play ball. When we fight a capable adversary, our future force has to rely on our ability to leverage technological advantage through jointness of operations. Just think of an analogy to the interwar period when leading proponents of armored mechanized warfare were trying to overcome institutional obstacles. The Germans were successful in integrating major components (infantry, artillery, armor, engineer) into a very potent combat formation namely the panzer division. They also had their own RMA as radio communications advances were allowing superiors means of command and control. The Germans were fortunate that they had Guderian (who was originally a signals officer) and Erich Fellgiebel in working out the doctrinal details of achieving information dominance during mobile operations. However what is less well known is the fact that the British Army got there first, and could've easily maintained its early lead in mechanized combined arms operations. Their Experimental Mechanized Force exercises revealed all the future lessons of integration that the Germans fully exploited in the early years of Blitzkrieg. However, the British Army wasted this early and decisive lead for a number of reasons. Just as it had been the case in the US Army, the Reichsheer as well as the French army, service branch rivalries (infantry/artillery versus nascent armor as well as obsolescent horse cavalry) hampered integration. As Rommel noted the Brits never quite got the jist of combined arms operations as they continually repeated their mistakes of inflexible deployments of tank and infantry brigades. I'd like to think of the services as branches during the interwar period (Both infantry and artillery wanted to subordinate armor. In France, the doctrinal failure proved fatal. In the US Army the tank destroyer doctrine was the brainchild of the artillery branch. While it wasn't fatal, this decision probably cost a lot more lives especially in NW Europe.). Whether we are able to jointly operate to fully utilize *all* our assets will determine our status as the predominant military power well into the future.