For at least the past 25 years, defense cognoscenti have discounted both the likelihood and the viability of amphibious assault, to say nothing of its necessity today. We hear the terms “area denial” and “anti-access,” which supposedly make littoral naval operations—especially amphibious assaults—impractical and too costly. Even the Navy seems to subscribe to this thinking.
But war is unpredictable and bloody. The cost of operations must always be weighed against the benefits of success and price of failure. If future national interests require an amphibious assault on some unanticipated battleground, it doesn’t matter how unthinkable that may be, how they do it, or how many Marines are killed. What is important is that it be done; whether with helicopters, surface craft, or other devices is irrelevant. Marines must always be ready for an assault mission from the sea. Their only job is to figure the best way to do it—not whether it can or should be done.