On August 17, according to the financial times, the U.S. Marine Corps is considering relying on several islands in the Philippines to implement the new tactical concept of “distributed operations”. This also means that if the plan goes smoothly, the U.S. Marine Corps will usher in a new round of “big changes.”. < / P > < p > the move was not a fluke from the US military. On March 23, 2020, the U.S. Marine Corps announced a ten-year transformation plan called 2030 force design. According to the plan, with the U.S. military pushing forward the “big power competition” strategy with China and Russia as the goal, the Marine Corps, the vanguard of US foreign military intervention, should also undergo corresponding transformation. < / P > < p > this plan highly implements the reform policy of David Berger, commander of the U.S. Marine Corps, who took office in 2019. After reflecting on the regional wars that the United States has participated in in in recent years, Berger thinks that the large-scale ground warfare has caused problems such as unclear positioning of the Marine Corps and excessive overlapping with the army’s functions, and the reform of the Marine Corps has been delayed. And he proposed building a more mobile Marine Corps focused on maritime operations over the next decade. According to Berger, the Marine Corps “should have been an important force to fill the gaps between the army, navy and air force.”. Therefore, the Marine Corps in the future will return to the position of “national expeditionary force” and “launch all kinds of small-scale wars with opponents of the same level”. The main task of the Marine Corps is to obtain maritime control and give full play to regional rejection capability. The new Marine Corps will focus on maritime operations to ensure “freedom of movement” for the US military. According to the detailed rules, there are two key points in the reform of the Marine Corps: one is to abolish the “big and expensive” manned heavy weapons and equipment to make them more flexible; the other is to increase the proportion of intelligent equipment and long-range weapons, so that the Marine Corps can better adapt to the environment of cooperative operations in multiple islands in the future. < / P > < p > this reform will eliminate a large number of ground forces. Among them, three tank battalions established in World War II will be abolished and the tanks will be returned to the army; 24 infantry battalions will be reduced to 21, and the number of howitzer battalions will be sharply reduced from 21 to 5. At the same time, the 17 medium rotorcraft squadrons and 8 heavy helicopter squadrons of the aviation arms were reduced by 3. Although the overall scale of the 18 F-35B / C remained unchanged, each squadron was downsized from 16 to 10. According to the plan, the overall size of the Marine Corps will be reduced from 189000 to about 170000. On the Marine Corps’ downsizing program, Berger said: “my conclusion is that we should reduce the size of the Marine Corps in order to improve the quality.” The core of force 2030 is to establish a “coastal regiment” whose task is to resist “regional threats” in the Pacific Ocean, according to an analysis in the Wall Street Journal. Berger proposed that if one day the military confrontation in the Pacific Ocean is “imminent”, these “coastal regiments” will use amphibious ships to quickly transport soldiers to each island, and cooperate with UAVs and anti-ship missiles to attack targets. After the military contact, the U.S. Marine Corps and will rely on unmanned systems and amphibious transport ships to quickly transfer. From deployment, strike to final evacuation, the Marine Corps in the future will only take 48-72 hours to complete. As a matter of fact, the United States has carried out the “coastal regiment” experiment on Okinawa Island, Japan, which is the front line of its Pacific strategy. According to the US “Star Spangled Banner” on July 23, the US Marines hope to deploy air defense mobile forces in Okinawa to help Japan “resist foreign invasion of the islands.”. Berger said that by 2027, the Marine Corps will deploy three “coastal regiments” in Okinawa, Hawaii and Guam. These units will transform based on the original soldiers, reduce aircraft, artillery and heavy armored equipment, and increase the number of anti-ship missiles and UAVs. < / P > < p > in order to make the future Marine Corps more “smart”, in addition to “subtraction”, the ten-year transformation plan also requires the acquisition of more intelligent and unmanned equipment with strong mobility, support for precision strike and high content of emerging technologies to arm the Marine Corps. Based on this, the number of “haimas” long-range rocket gun battalions capable of launching rockets and ballistic missiles will be increased from one to three; unmanned reconnaissance and strike systems will be enhanced; and the number of UAV squadrons will be doubled from three to six. The kc-130j, which can carry out aerial refueling and act as transport or gunboat aircraft, will also have an additional squadron. Since taking office in 2019, Berger has always believed that unmanned systems will change the way the Marine Corps operates. He believes that unmanned systems play an important role in transporting supplies, providing dynamic information, and confusing opponents. The number of unmanned aerial equipment and unmanned ground systems in the Marine Corps will double, according to Joshua Benson, spokesman for the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Development Command, according to the US naval Association news network. According to the analysis of the drive, the Marine Corps in the future will use air strikes and smaller ships (including unmanned surface vessels) to seize control of the island and quickly establish an “expeditionary advance combat base”. Therefore, unmanned equipment that does not need a lot of manpower, such as UAV, unmanned ship and unmanned ground vehicle with long-range attack system are very important in the future planning of the US Marine Corps. < / P > < p > to implement this strategy, the United States is investing a lot of money in weapons research and development. The Wall Street Journal reported this year that the U.S. air force is developing a missile that can reach five times the speed of sound and is actively testing its matching drones. The U.S. Navy is also pursuing the improvement and development of unmanned submarines and ships, and the Marine Corps is exploring the possibility of applying 3D printing technology to parts manufacturing and logistics supply. According to the U.S. budget, the Pentagon will spend $705 billion in fiscal year 2021, including $107 billion in research and development. US $107 billion is also the largest U.S. investment in weapons research and development in 70 years. In the 2030 force design plan, Berger said that China’s missile and naval forces were weakening the U.S. military superiority in the Pacific region, and described China’s military presence in the region as a “growing threat.”. “If we don’t do anything, we’re going to be eliminated [in the Pacific] He said. On July 13, 2020, US Secretary of state pompeio publicly declared that China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea were “illegal” and supported the judgment of the so-called “South China Sea arbitration” case. This also marks that the United States has completely abandoned its “neutrality” in the South China Sea issue and will launch a strategic confrontation with China in the Pacific Ocean. In recent months, the United States has conducted several military exercises with allies such as Japan and Australia, including one involving two aircraft carriers. < / P > < p > unlike other US services, the Marine Corps does not want to engage in a large-scale military confrontation. According to the analysis of the Wall Street Journal, China already has a strong regional rejection capability in the South China Sea. China’s anti-ship cruise missiles and medium range tactical missiles will force the traditional large-scale amphibious warships of the United States to move more and more far away from the target of attack, which undoubtedly greatly weakens the superiority of the Marine Corps in military confrontation. Based on this, Berger is so eager to transform the U.S. Marine Corps so that it can adapt to the coordinated operations among the Pacific Islands. < / P > < p > however, there are views that Berger’s transformation plan is too targeted at China and loses the flexibility of the Marine Corps to fight elsewhere. “National interest” magazine of the United States once criticized Berger’s behavior of completely abolishing the tank troops and greatly reducing the number of artillery “made the Marine Corps lose the key ability”. Jim Webb, a former U.S. Navy Secretary, also questioned that focusing too much on confrontation with China in the Pacific would unbalance the global deployment of the Marine Corps. “There is no greater danger of military strategy than changing the structure of a country’s forces in response to a specific set of emergencies. It is not good for the long-term interests of the United States to overemphasize confrontation with China in the narrow South China Sea.” Weber said.