Matt Bush, FISM News
Following a five-day joint war simulation exercise between U.S. and U.K. Marine forces called “Green Dagger,” conflicting reports came out of both countries on who “won” the war-games.
Immediate reports from Britain’s Daily Telegraph touted that “US Marines were driven into submission by their British counterparts.” The paper went on to describe that the Royal Marines had used “new tactics that helped them get the better of the American troops, who were on home soil.”
In a response, the US Marines insist that they were not defeated by their British counterparts and that the mock battle was not meant to have “winners.” In a statement emailed to Business Insider, the Marine Corps said, “This exercise does not provide an opportunity to ‘surrender,’ ‘keep score,’ or ‘reset.’ The objective of the exercise is to heighten unit performance and increase readiness.”
Exercise Green Dagger took place in the Mojave desert across a 3,500-square-kilometer zone in California. It pitted US Marines against Royal Marines who were aided by a small group from the Netherlands Marine Corps. According to the Telegraph, the two sides were tasked with taking out the other’s assets and controlling as much of the territory as possible.
The Royal Navy told Insider that the victory was decisive and that the Royal Marines, at one point, had disabled almost all every US asset.
The two sides seem to disagree on who the real winner was. The Royal Navy is standing firm with their description of a decisive and sound victory against US forces. A tweet from the 40 Commando Royal Marines, the group within the Royal Navy that was competing, said:
Victorious! 🏆@RoyalMarines triumph in part of multinational team on Exercise Green Dagger 21. The 5-day Multi-domain war-fighting exercise concluded with an epic close quarters finale in Mojave Desert.
🇬🇧🇨🇦🇳🇱🇦🇪🇺🇸#StrongerTogether @USMC pic.twitter.com/MW0xzw0TBt
— 40 Commando Royal Marines (@40commando) October 30, 2021
US Marines, on the other hand, are calling it simply a training exercise with no winner or loser. A tweet from the US Marines official account reads:
U.S. Marines are fortunate to train with allies and partners all over the world, every day – including our brothers and sisters in the @RoyalMarines. As fellow soldiers of the sea, we have a unique and proven bond shared by those who have earned the title “Marine”. pic.twitter.com/4yCufoZceU
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) November 3, 2021
It is difficult to know which side to believe, and there are differences in the two forces that make it even more complicated. Is it a case of British military dominance? Maybe. But it could also be akin to a non-Power 5 team playing in a bowl game against an SEC opponent on New Year’s Day. Under that scenario, the heavy underdog has a lot more to play for, and may try to turn what is essentially a “training exercise” into being more important than it actually is.