As the Marine Corps looks beyond Iraq, the question becomes "Where do we go from here?"
That question was asked of the Marine Corps after the two World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam. After each conflict there were many who discounted the utility of the Marines, citing cost-effectiveness, duplication, and myriad other reasons as justification for the elimination or absorption of this singular and peculiar organization. But the Corps survived and justified its existence through its performance in and out of battle. Nonetheless, it will face renewed scrutiny after Iraq and Afghanistan and the result will be the same—but only if the Corps remains useful and does what it says it can do.