The US Marine Corps is lobbying to be withdrawn from Iraq and instead be given the lead role in Afghanistan, reports the New York Times. The move would leave the Army with primary responsibility for the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq. Supporters believe it would allow the branches to operate more efficiently in operations that are straining resources.
Air Force commanders are likely to oppose the move, which would reduce their role in Afghanistan because Marines operate their own aircraft. The Marine Corps commandant pitched the concept at a Pentagon conference last week. "This is not about trading one ground war for another,” said a Pentagon official. “It is about the nature of the fight, and whether the Afghan mission lends itself to Marine deployment.”