Dakota Wood spent 20 years in uniform as a U.S. Marine. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2005 and entered the world of academic defense analysis.

Now a senior fellow at the Center for National Defense at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Wood used his experience in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and as a researcher to field a surprising recommendation for the American defense apparatus: get rid of the Marine Raiders.

In a 60-page report released March 21st, Wood—who once served as a strategist at Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command—said the USMC needs to reevaluate where it spends its money in order to be highly effective in a 21st century conflict. One key area of wasted funding, he claims, is on the Marine Corps’ Special Operations command known as the Marine Raiders, or Marines Special Operations Command (MARSOC).

Wood’s report, published by The Heritage Foundation, reads:

MARSOC was established because of a shortage of special operations teams, not because the Marine Corps wanted a special operations force. U.S. Special Operations Command was hard-pressed to meet the operational demand for its capabilities as U.S. global war on terrorism efforts expanded in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other locations worldwide.

Consequently, the 2,700 Marines committed to MARSOC benefit SOCOM, performing special operations tasks in specific locations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. MARSOC has little direct value for the Corps, especially with regard to the Corps’ primary mission as stipulated in 10 U.S. Code and DOD [U.S. Department of Defense] directive.”

Wood contends that Marines already assigned to MARSOC are doing important work for the America’s national security, but counters with concerns about how much of the branch’s resources are devoted to special operations.

“The Corps’ commitment to MARSOC, while a boon to SOCOM [United States Special Operations Command] and the good work it does for the country, is an opportunity cost for the Corps and the work that only it can do, as opposed to SOCOM’s role and the contributions long made to its mission by the Army, Navy and Air Force,” he said.