November 01, 2010

What the 2010 USMC "Commandant's Planning Guidance" Says about Resources

I'm going through my backlogged email from my week out of the office. While I was gone, my officemate, CNAS's USMC Senior Military Fellow LtCol Paul Deutsch was kind enough to pass along this year's "Commandant's Planning Guidance." Generally:

The future security environment requires a mindset geared toward increased energy efficiency and reduced consumption, thus allowing us to operate lighter and faster. We will aggressively continue our pioneering efforts in energy through our Expeditionary Energy Office, with goals of reduced energy demand in our platforms and systems, self sufficiency in our battlefield sustainment, and a reduced expeditionary foot print on the battlefield.

Under "Priority #2: We will rebalance our Corps, posture it for the future and aggressively experiment with and implement new capabilities and organizations":

Increase Energy Efficiency Director Expeditionary Energy Office (E2O) - develop a plan to decrease the Marine Corps’ dependence on fossil fuels in a deployed environment. Implementation of the plan shall begin during FY 11 and be fully funded in the POM 13 budget cycle. Concentrate on three major areas: (1) increase the use of renewable energy, (2) instilling an ethos of energy efficiency, (3) increase the efficiency of equipment. The objective is to allow Marines to travel lighter — with less — and move faster through the reduction in size and amount of equipment and the dependence on bulk supplies. (Due: 18 Feb 11)

In its description of the future security environment:

The future will not be like today. As we look ahead, we see a world of increasing instability and conflict, characterized by poverty, competition for resources, urbanization, overpopulation and extremism. Failed states or those that can not adequately govern their territory can become safe havens for terrorist, insurgent and criminal groups that threaten the U.S. and our allies....

The developing world is trending toward a more youthful demographic. Already pressurized by a lack of education and job opportunities, the marked increase of young men in underdeveloped countries will likely swell the ranks of disaffected groups, providing a more pronounced distinction between the “haves” and “have-nots.” At the same time, increasing competition for scarce natural resources — fossil fuels, food and clean water — will likely lead to tension, crisis and conflict. (emphasis all mine)

Despite Paul's Michigan alum status, it's always good to keep up on the language the leaders of each service uses in describing these challenges.