21st Century Ellis

Operational Art and Strategic Prophecy for the Modern Era

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For years, the Marine Corps has touted the prescience of Lt. Col. “Pete” Ellis, USMC, who predicted in 1921 that the United States would fight Japan and how the Pacific Theater would be won. Now the works of the “amphibious prophet” are collected together for the first time. Included are Ellis’ essays on naval and amphibious operations that the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps would use to win the war against Imperial Japan, as well as his articles about counterinsurgency and conventional war based on his experiences in the Philippines and in Europe during World War I. As the United States focuses on the Pacific once again, Friedman presents Ellis’ ideas as a case study to inform current policymakers about the dynamics of strategy and warfare across the vast reaches of the Pacific. This collection reveals Ellis to be a thinker who was ahead of his time in identifying concepts the U.S. military struggles with even today.

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