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Three excellent reports have been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction: Amphibious Operations in the 21st Century, Amphibious Ships and Landing Craft Data Book, Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Overview.
There will continue to be a blurring of what was previously thought to be distinct forms of war or conflict—conventional war, irregular challenges, terrorism, and criminality—into what can be described as hybrid challenges. Hybrid challenges can be posed by states, proxy forces, or armed groups attempting to impose excessive political, human, and materiel costs in order to undermine their adversary's resolve and commitment. Thus, we expect opponents—operating in a highly dispersed manner—to blend different approaches, integrating all forms of weapons and technology to oppose our efforts.
All of these challenges combined illustrate the importance of being able to operate in littoral regions, which encompass the confluence of water, air, and land. The littoral is composed of two segments. The seaward portion is that area from the open ocean to the shore that must be controlled to support operations ashore. The landward portion is the area inland from the shore that can be supported and defended directly from the sea. This confluence is infinite in its variations. As a result, littoral operations are inherently challenging.
As described in the maritime strategy, our national security is tied to maintaining stability in these littoral areas. Amphibious capabilities will be required to bridge the seams between water, land, and air, not merely for forcible entry purposes, but as the means of further exploiting the sea as maneuver space to conduct persistent littoral operations. Countering dispersed adversaries employing hybrid tactics will require multiple, simultaneous, and distributed actions by amphibious forces throughout the littoral region. With forces continuously maneuvering between and among locations afloat and ashore, the littoral must be viewed as a single domain.