As reflected in our National Defense Strategy, uncertainty is a defining feature of our dynamic and complex global environment. The most likely threats to our country will result from the chronic instability that continues to spread in much of the developing world. According to the Marine Corps Mid-Range Threat Assessment 2005-2015, several "drivers of instability," including transnational extremism, constitute the greatest threats to our national interests abroad (see MCIA-1586-001-05, Marine Corps Midrange Threat Estimate: 2005-2015 [Quantico, Va.: Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, August 2005], p. vi). We can choose to react—or we can take proactive measures.
As the U.S. military partners with nations in less stable regions, our forces are increasingly being used to facilitate growth and capacity building. Lieutenant Colonel Zeman describes these efforts in his accompanying article "Marines Adapt the Long War Concept." The service's move toward the development of Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task Forces (SC MAGTF) demonstrates that our senior leaders recognize the situation.