Marine Commandant Wants More Troops, More Weapons for ‘Next War’

Says ISIS Not as Capable as Russian-Backed Separatists

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller cheered President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to massively increase the number of Marine infantry battalions in comments today, but made it clear he wants a lot more than just more troops.

In talking up the “next war,” Neller insisted the Marines need more cyber, intelligence, and avionics specialists, more jets, amphibious ships, and weaponry, saying he thinks the “next war” is going to be much more complicated, and face a much more sophisticated enemy than ISIS.

In suggesting who that “next war” might be, Gen. Neller insisted that ISIS forces aren’t nearly as capable as “Russia-backed separatists that Ukraine is fighting,” underscoring that even if Trump isn’t keen on starting a war with Russia, that doesn’t mean Pentagon officials intend to keep using Russia as the excuse for more spending.

Admiral John Richardson also expressed confidence that the massive US arms makers were fully capable of “boosting production” to meet all the new orders expected as part of Trump’s pledge to massively increase the number of troops, boats, and planes in the military, though he didn’t single out Russia or make any mentions of a next war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.