As the United States pivots to the Pacific, the Marine Corps must prioritize the education of its leaders in regional cultures.
On 5 January 2012 President Barack Obama announced the national need to “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific Region” in his remarks on the Defense Strategy Review. At the same time, he underscored the need for a leaner but “agile, flexible, and ready [military] for the full range of contingencies and threats.”1 The Marine Corps is uniquely equipped to meet this national objective, but it will take leaders who are cognizant of cultural and historical sensitivities in the region to successfully execute the President’s vision.
The Southeast Asia region, especially the Indo-Pacific sea lanes, holds strategic value for the United States. A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower specifically notes that: