Another tear runs down my face

The USMC M1A1 tanks are indeed very heavy and getting dated behind the US Army’s M1A2SEPs.

Does that mean that the USMC shouldn’t have tanks? I sure hope that the USMC adopts the Light Tank because some of the Army’s Light Tank variants have Active Protection and ERA. US Army M1A2SEPs lack fording kits, infantry telephones in the rear, and Combined Arms tactics with the ground Marines and Marine Air.

I think that the USMC is afraid of ATGM UAVs and drones attacking M1A1s from afar, and that is a valid concern. However, even with ATGMs and UAVs, nothing beats the indirect fire of a tank. With missiles, one usually has to get a direct target and a direct hit because the ammo supply is very limited. With tank shells and bullets, one can fire indirectly and still have ammo inside the tank to spare. Multiply that by four tanks in a platoon and that is 160 120mm shells and 48,000 7.62mm rounds!

And the US’s tank variety is very slim in variety…just the Abrams and Light Tank Mobile Protected Firepower. There is no Medium Tank or other heavy tanks to choose from unlike the Russians and Chinese that have a wide variety of tanks in weight classes.

The USMC said that the M1A1 Abrams was too heavy, but I sure hope that doesn’t mean that they don’t need lighter tanks in the future. I can’t see everything being secured and won with LAVs, ACVs, and JLTVs, even with 30mm cannons and ATGMs.

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Let’s see now… the Marine Corps is ditching their heavy fighting capability, the Army is reducing forces to a level that was in existence on 9/11, we have fewer carriers and surface ships, as well as extended turnaround times for such vessels due to reduced shipyards capacity, and yet the powers that be are talking about ramping up for “near peer” warfare. Can somebody please explain to me the thought process of this inverse logic, fewer forces to handle larger adversaries?

I recall both incidents, the truck bombing and what might get lost in all that was Gen Kelly telling that story at a Marine Corps birthday ball two days after losing his son in combat.

Personally, I’m curious about the whole ‘Light Tank’ concept. I mean, the Sheridan was never wildly successful (though it did last a good long time) and other designs after the Abrams keep getting cancelled. Is the ‘light tank’ a viable concept today or is the MBT supplemented with urban gear (like TUSK) really the only way to go?

The U.S. Marines said that they saved money by divesting in M1A1 tanks and cutting forces to modernize since Congress won’t give them extra funding to do so. However, many critics say that the modernization is to buy lots more UAVs, loitering munitions, and JLTVs and HiMARS with Anti-ship missiles, meaning that the modernization is focused on long range precision fires and not up-close combat. Bear in mind that this is against peer nations that have excellent air forces, helicopter forces, surface-to-air missiles, CIWS, SHORADS, artillery, armor, and AAA. Would the USMC modernization work is anyone’s guess—but they’re testing concepts right now of “Distributed warfare.”

The Light Tank concept is for U.S. Army’s Light Infantry and Airborne and seems valid. Recall that the BAE M8 AGS won over the Stryker MGS, but the Stryker MGS was selected to be produced, not the M8. The Marines were NOT involved in that competition, and frankly, not even in the Mobile Protected Firepower. The U.S. Marines still believe that drones and loitering mentions can replace tanks and many worry that the Marines will lack organic firepower with the divestment in the heavy M1A1s, especially in urban warfare. The U.S. Army M1A2SEPs are in heavy mechanized divisions so “chopping” some to the Marines will take lots of lift and time to do so.

It is all about funding. If Congress won’t give the U.S. Marines money to modernize, then the chopping block has to fall somewhere to scrounge up enough funds to be spent elsewhere.

I’m for the Marines getting Light Tanks, such as eight to twelve Light Tanks to replace the four MEU M1A1s…more smaller Light Tanks for the weight of four M1A1s. Marines should always have some form of tank armor—but reports indicate that the Marines don’t want Light Tanks because no money—unless Congress provides funding and direct the USMC to buy Light Tanks.

At some point it always boils down to boots on the ground.

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Yep and you cannot 30-45 days for the Army to deploy a tank to you when your MEU grunts needs to knock down the door in an hour.

I get all that Trisaw was saying but they could have kept 4 companies around (2 active and 2 reserve) for this and used the other 150 tanks for parts. Basically what they did with the Brits and their old Harriers.

I think it’s Orwellian Double Speak for degrading your capabilities by choice until potential adversaries are on par with roughly equal military capacity to your own.

I wish the Prresident would get a back bone and base something like ~5,000 anti-ship missiles in Taiwan :taiwan: to invalidate the Chinese surface ship build up…


I can… but not without turning this into a full blown political discussion. I’ll just say this…
follow the money regarding those making the decisions.

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I don’t think money is involved-

Think on how much money they will be saving and potentially could be using somewhere else but getting rid of them.

I do… but not necessarily military budget money.
The current administration will find someplace else to spend the money. They may sell them to those who should not have them or they will spend even money to destroy the tanks.
Like I said… this is largely political.

Try to keep political views out of the discussion.


not quite

1 to fire and the second to go and ask the US if they can borrow another bullet

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This started before the current administration

It’s been going on for decades. Just another reason for term limits.
Like I said this is political and I really don’t want to get into it here.
PM or email if you want.

Brought to you by the descendants of the same propellor heads who said that fighter planes would only need missiles, no gun, and that dogfights were a thing of the past. That worked out pretty good in the next war that came along that was not foreseen by those same folks. Sarcasm off

I have a strong feeling that this decision will come back to haunt the powers the be as well somewhere down the road. Of course not in a personal sense, as they have no skin or blood in the game.


The single most effective way to have the perfect answer is to wait for things to happen and THEN say what should have been done.
The Swedish language has a word for this, efterklok, which is composed of ‘after’ (efter) and
wise (klok, displays wisdom). Wisdom afterwards sort of …

I would poke some “inter-service rivalry” fun at my USMC friends, but there’re enough issues going 'round with all the US military services these days to make that a full-blown case of throwing stones in a glass house.

Unfortunately, there is simply no way to separate out the politics when discussing these issues. Politics have always affected the US military, but these days it’s worse than ever…

Tears should be running down all our faces, brothers.


Military expenditures is like an insurance, nobody likes to spend a lot of cash on it until they need it and then it is too late.
When your neighbours house burns you start thinking about fire precaution, sprinkler systems, insurance et.c.


hmm we all know technological change is rapid yet the vastly majority of US fighter aircraft were designed when?

Old Classics Classics & Middle Aged underachieving next gens.
F-15 ~1969
F-16 ~1972
F-18 ~1974
F-22 ~1995
F-35 ~2005

Sure they’re all updated etc but its time for clean sheet design and lower cost solutions than the F-35 if we want to stay with manned aircraft…maybe something like this…