The commander of the US Marine Corps stationed in Norway, told troops on Thursday that “there’s a war coming” urging them to be prepared.
General Robert Neller warned of an imminent war saying there was a shift of focus away from conflicts in the Middle East and pointing to Russia and the Pacific region.
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Saying that Russia and the Pacific would be the next major areas of conflict, Neller predicted a “big-ass fight” in the very near future
Earlier this week, President Trump unveiled a new national security strategy that focused on the threats posed by Russia and China to U.S. interests.
Press TV reports: While the Marine Corps commander admitted that the US troops would remain in the Middle East for some time to come, he pointed to “a slight pullback” from that region and a reorientation toward Russia and the Pacific.
“Just remember why you’re here,” he added. “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 comments were made amid tensions between Russia and NATO allies, with Moscow warning Oslo that the presence of American troops could hurt relations after the Nordic country decided to host a new unit of US soldiers through the end of 2018.
The deployment will strain already tense relations with Russia, as it goes against a vow made by Norway not to allow the deployment of foreign combat forces on its soil unless the country was under the threat of attack or for military drills.
Russia and NATO have had strained ties since conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine some three years ago. More than 10,000 have been killed in the war in Ukraine’s industrial east, where the Kiev government is fighting pro-Russia forces.
Russia has long been wary of NATO’s expansion eastward — toward Russia’s western borders. NATO has deployed around 4,000 troops, consisting of four battle groups, to Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland in recent years.
The US is also engaged in joint military drills mainly with South Korea and Japan in the Pacific region, as a show of force against North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missiles program.