Talking to US troops in Europe related to ongoing tensions with Russia, Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller warned that he sees “a war coming,” and that troops deployed there are in for “a big ass fight.”
The commandant’s speech was meant to focus on the importance of readiness for troops in Europe, and particularly for a new rotational force in Norway, but suggested that their very presence could trigger a war with Russia.
“We’ve got 300 Marines up here, we could go from 300 to 3,000 overnight,” Neller added. Officially, the deployment isn’t even supposed to mention Russia as part of their goals, citing regional sensitivities.
Russia has criticized the US presence so close to their border, and Norway’s opposition is similarly seeking a decent explanation for why US forces are in the country in the first place.
US commanders often play up the threat of imminent war with Russia as a way to push for more funding, but the commandant’s language was unusually frank, and suggested he genuinely sees a massive US-Russia War breaking out in short order.