U.S. Naval Institute’s LaGrone: Navy, Marine Corps Transition for Chinese Threat — ‘China Is Very Much on Everybody’s Mind’

Although the spread of the coronavirus has made the threat China poses to the United States a front-burner topic, the rise of the Asian superpower has been something both U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have been evaluating for quite some time.

That is according to Sam LaGrone, a reporter and editor for USNI News, the online news and analysis portal of the Annapolis, MD-based U.S. Naval Institute.

LaGrone told Huntsville, AL radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Tuesday that the Marine Corps was undergoing a transition to make it more suited for a potential conflict against China.

“China is pretty much what’s on everybody’s mind right now as far as the Marine Corps goes,” LaGrone said. “That story — we’ve covered that a lot at USNI News, the Marines’ shift from ostensibly a second ground army during Iraq and Afghanistan to something that’s more mobile. The military likes to use the term ‘expeditionary,’ which is kind of short-hand for being able to go to faraway places with little notice and support yourself logistically.”

“That resulted in some relatively extreme moves by the Marine Corps, or what some people would say were extreme moves by the Marine Corps — like they’re going to get rid of their tank division and most of their mobile artillery, and they’re routing money that they had from those programs into anti-ship missiles that can fire from a shore, orienting themselves around a new World War II-style island-hopping campaign — move throughout different places throughout the South Pacific to keep an adversary like China on their toes,” he continued.

The same applied to the U.S. Navy, as well as it embarks upon an overhaul.

“As far as the Navy goes, that’s something the Navy is thinking about all the time,” LaGrone added. “I think everything the Navy is moving toward in the future — they’re getting ready to buy a whole new generation of aircraft, and a whole new generation of ships, and a whole new generation of submarines. And they’re really starting to zero-in on what China potentially has to offer as a threat, both with their equipment and the geography they have to overcome. China is very much on everybody’s mind.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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