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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

American marines general warns of ‘big-ass fight’ against Russia

General Robert Neller said that the country’s military concerns are likely to be in the Pacific and Russian theatres

US Marines winter camouflage training during a cold weather drill in South Korea. EPA/KIM HEE-CHUL
US Marines winter camouflage training during a cold weather drill in South Korea. EPA/KIM HEE-CHUL

The head of America’s Marine Corps has said that the country’s military concerns are likely to include a “big-ass fight” on the horizon, most possibly in the Pacific and Russian theatres.

“I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,” General Robert Neller, the commandant of the marines, told troops who were stationed in in Norway, according to website Military.com. “You’re in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence.”

Sergeant major of the marines, Ronald Green, reinforced the message: “Just remember why you’re here. 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.”

“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,” sergeant major Green said. “Three hundred of us, surrounded by them, we’ve got them right where we wanted, right? We’ve done this before.”

In a Q&A session with troops, General Neller said America may shift its focus from the Middle East to Eastern Europe, pointing to Russia’s conflicts with Ukraine and Georgia.

In the National Security Strategy released by Donald Trump on Monday, the primacy of Russia as an enemy force was enforced. The document noted the Russian practice of “using information tools” to interfere with other nations’ democracies.

“With its invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, Russia demonstrates its willingness to violate the sovereignty of states in the region,” the strategy states.

The American presence in Norway has become an issue in the country: in October opposition leaders asked the prime minister, Erna Solberg, what the Americans were doing in the country.

The Russians have also opposed America’s involvement in a country on the borders of their own.

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