Stagnation is perhaps the antithesis of maneuver warfare. Unfortunately, it is also a valid description of what has happened to Marine Corps maneuver warfare doctrine. The seminal text—Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication (MCDP) 1, Warfighting—is 23 years old. Originally intended to be updated over time, it has instead aged. Continuing to base the Marine Corps’ foundational doctrine in an outdated text puts at risk the widespread acceptance and adoption of Maneuver Warfare in the Marine Corps. It needs revision and updating to increase its relevance to today’s Marines.
Maneuver warfare doctrine was never meant to rely on a one-and-done publication. In fact, Warfighting was revised in 1997 by then-Commandant General Charles Krulak, eight years after the original was published. In his preface to the revised edition, former Commandant General Alfred Gray made clear his intent that Warfighting undergo continual revision and updating: