US Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller told about 300 Marines in Norway that they should be prepared for a “bigass fight” to come.
“I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,” Gen. Neller said on December 21, according to Military.com. ” … You’re in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence.“
The general made this statement during his visit to a Marine rotational force near Trondheim, about 480 km north of Nroway’s capital, Oslo.
The Norwegian Home Guard base near Trondheim was the first stop on Gen. Neller’s annual Christmas tour.
“The first Norway rotation, from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, deployed in January and was replaced by a new unit from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, in late August,” Military.com reported.
The Marine rotational force’s presence in Norway is intended to support operations by NATO and the US European Command in the area.
Neller also said that he expects the Pacific and Russia to be the service’s operational points of focus besides the situation in the Middle East.
“Just remember why you’re here,” Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green told the troops, according the report. “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 new US National Security Strategy clearly says that Russia poses a major threat to the US interests around the world. The document accused Russia of “using information tools” to interfere with other nations’ internal policy and crosses borders agression.
“With its invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, Russia demonstrates its willingness to violate the sovereignty of states in the region,” the document says.
Gen. Neller is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon’s senior team responsible for contingency planning. His remarks clearly show the growing tensions between Russia and the US in the region and the current level of relations between the two countries.