The U.S. Marines’ top officer in the Middle East wants to lend a hand in the war on the Islamic State. “Some of the missions [the Pentagon is] executing now could be executed by well-trained and disciplined general purpose forces like U.S. Marines,” Lt. Gen. William Beydler recently told

But Beydler’s comments belie an existing and largely hushed Marine presence in the conflict. In fact, Beydler’s leathernecks are working closely with special operators in the region — according to a set of briefings War Is Boring obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

The current Marine presence in the Middle East largely dates to the September 2012 terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, which killed four Americans including a U.S. ambassador.

After the attack, the U.S. military created a network of quick-reaction forces across the globe. In 2013, the Marines created a task force close to potential hot spots in Africa. And by 2015, a second Marine force set up in Kuwait.

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