Damn case insensitivity...

MRC: military acronym for Major Regional Contingency

An MRC is, effectively, a war--the commitment of military assets to a specific regional theater of operations for the purpose of engaging in armed conflict. Current strategic thinking in the US military is built around the so called two-MRC or two-war scenario, which requires the United States to be able to fight and win in two separate but simultaneous MRCs or moderate size. It is generally assumed that one MRC would take place in the Middle East, the other most likely involving Korea.

This thinking, a move away from American commitment to a single, major, Europe-focused conflict with the Soviet Union, began to evolve after the collapse of the USSR and the Gulf War. Originally the two-MRC scenario was designed to identify a kind of "floor" below which it would be dangerous to cut military spending. This was a key factor in the bottom up review of the military conducted during the early years of the Clinton Administration.

It is interesting to note that rumblings emanating from the Defense Department (now under the direction of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a Bush Administration appointee) suggest that the new administration is considering a move away from the idea of fighting in MRCs and instead developing a smaller, more sophisticated, more nimble force which could be deployed to quell smaller regional distrubances, as was the aim with the Clinton Administration's Kosovo operations.