VOL. 23 - NO. 17
MAY 13 - 20, 2018
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX
SUBSCRIPTION RATE:
$25/YEAR
home
home
home
home

Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Marines Want to 'Pull Back' From Middle East as Russia, Pacific Loom

Dec 23, 2017
by Hope Hodge Seck
VAERNES GARRISON, NORWAY -- As the U.S. nears the completion of nearly two decades of combat in the Middle East, the commandant of the Marine Corps said the service is looking beyond the region and working to focus more on other parts of the world where new threats are emerging.

During a brief visit to the new Marine Corps rotational force in Norway as part of a multi-country Christmas tour of deployed Marine units, Gen. Robert Neller held a town hall forum and took questions from a handful of Marines from the 300-troop rotation. Addressing a question about where the Marine Corps saw itself fighting in the near future, Neller spoke plainly.

"I think probably the focus, the intended focus is not on the Middle East," Neller said. "The focus is more on the Pacific and Russia."

The commandant acknowledged that who and where to fight is not always a unilateral choice.

"The problem is, we may not be interested in the Middle East, but they seem to be fascinated with us," he said. "And as long as there are groups there that threaten the United States, there will have to be some presence."

The current Marine Corps deployed presence in the Middle East is robust.

More than 450 Marines are now deployed to Afghanistan in advisory and training capacities as local troops continue to battle the Taliban. Hundreds more are in Iraq, staffing two ground bases supporting the fight against ISIS and reinforcing the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. An artillery detachment in Syria recently departed for home after being credited with helping to achieve victory in the assault on the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate in Raqqa.

And elsewhere in the Middle East, elements of the Marines' crisis response force for the region are distributed in various countries, ready to respond to a regional crisis, provide aid to an embassy, or rescue a downed aircraft.

Traditionally, multiple stops on Neller's annual Christmas visit are to deployed Marine units in the Middle East.

Neller asked the enlisted Marine who asked the question how old he was when the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks occurred. Eight, the Marine responded.

"If you look at the security situation in that part of the world, is it any better than it was at 9/11?" Neller said. "We've been there for 17 years next September. So we keep doing the same thing, getting the same result, and we're still unhappy. Maybe we need to change something."

He predicted "a slight pullback" from the Middle East in favor of presence in and focus on the Pacific and Eastern Europe, where North Korea and Russia pose regional and global threats.

The Pacific, in particular, houses three of the five threats in the Pentagon's "4+1" framework, Neller said: North Korea, China, and global terrorism. (The other two threats are Russia and Iran).

"So I believe we'll turn our attention there," Neller said. "We're going back to the Pacific."

* * * * *

Photo caption: Marines from the Combined Arms Company support NATO allies with ground-combat capabilities in Norway's Namsos fjord during Exercise Cold Response 16. (Master Sgt. Chad McMeen/Marine Corp)


subscribe

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Transcendence Theatre Company presents "Stairway to Paradise"

Proposed Cannon Would Turn the B-1 Bomber into a Gunship

'Material Issue' Delays USS Ronald Reagan’s Upcoming Deployment

Army to Begin Equipping Heavy Units with Active Protection by 2020

Marines to Get New Psychological Operations MOS as Community Grows

BOOK REVIEW: "Fathers, Sons, and the Holy Ghosts of Baseball" by Tommy Murray

All-Female Crew Proves its Chops on Carrier Roosevelt

Coast Guard Atlantic Area to Welcome New Commander

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: “Jersey Boys” Comes to San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts” for Return Engagement

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Tony® Award Winner Len Cariou Comes to Bay Area in “Broadway and the Bard: An Evening of Shakespeare & Song”