In 2014, Russia was on its way to filling a major capacity gap that emerged during the 2008 Russo-Georgia conflict; namely, a significant lack of amphibious assault capability.

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As military weaponry has advanced, the viability of amphibious assault against a defended beachhead isn’t what it used to be. Unlike World War II and the Korean War, modern defenses are bristling with guided missile systems, thermobaric weaponry, and radar-guided machine gun batteries, among other lethal armaments. If the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan captured the carnage of the most successful large-scale amphibious assault in history, it’s 2014 military science fiction yarn Live. Die. Repeat. that reveals its modern shortfalls.

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Storming a beach under a hail of gunfire has never been easy for the Marine Corps. But with rapid advances in technology, they now have to contend with precision missiles and other fearsome air and coastal defenses that make an already dangerous mission even riskier.

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USMC/Sgt. Jennifer J. Pirante

A morning exercise for a 1st Marine Division Amphibious Assault Vehicle crew turned frightening Tuesday morning when their craft burst into flames, sending them scrambling to escape it, Business Insider reported Sep. 13.

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Photo via DoD

Testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee yesterday, Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh painted an alarming picture of the most versatile fighting force in U.S. history: After more than 15 years of almost-constant combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine Corps is ill-prepared for future conflicts in the changing geopolitical order.

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