Rumors of war? That’s what’s being reported.
Marine Corps General Robert Neller reportedly spoke to U.S. troops in Norway on Thursday, warning them to expect a large-scale battle in the not too distant future. While Neller insisted that he was not speaking of any concrete plans of forthcoming confrontation, he explained to the troops that there was no way to ignore the gathering stormclouds.
“I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,” said Gen. Neller. “You’re in a fight here – an informational fight, a political fight – by your presence.”
He said that it was entirely within the realm of possibility that Russia and the Pacific theater could be the next major battlefields for the U.S. His comments were echoed by Sgt. Major Ronald Green, who spoke next.
“Just remember why you’re here,” he advised the troops. “They’re watching. Just like you watch them, they watch you. We’ve got 300 Marines up here; we could go from 300 to 3,000 overnight. We could raise the bar.”
The troops are stationed in Norway much to Russia’s irritation and Neller’s remarks come at a time when tensions between Putin and the NATO countries surrounding him are nearing growing ever more explosive. Earlier this year, Sweden conducted one of its largest military drills in decades and Russia has been conducting its own war drills with its nearby partner, Belarus. Neller’s warnings of war also come on the heels of the Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy document, which calls out both Russia and China for their attempts to challenge American “security and prosperity.”
“The combination of Russian ambition and growing military capabilities creates an unstable frontier in Eurasia, where the risk of conflict due to Russian miscalculation is growing,” said the document.
In an interview with Military.com, Sgt. Maj. Green said it was fine with Marine Corps commanders if Russia didn’t appreciate having U.S. troops stationed near their border.
“They don’t like the fact that we oppose them, and we like the fact that they don’t like the fact that we oppose them,” Green said. “Three hundred of us, surrounded by them. We’ve got them right where we want, right? We’ve done this before.”
Though this type of talk does not match the Russia rhetoric we’ve heard from President Trump, it does fall in line with the administration’s recent decision to arm Ukrainian troops. Is Trump’s relationship with Putin failing to bear peaceful fruit, or are we just looking at a bit of mild saber-rattling stemming from Russia’s refusal to back us up 100% on our North Korean pressures? It’s hard to say, but you can’t take it lightly when a Marine Corps general is telling his troops to prepare for warfare.
Oh 2018, what DO you have in store for us?