Poland is not the only European country into which United States military forces are being inserted in the final days of the Obama administration. On Monday, about 300 Marines arrived in Norway. Reuters reports that the Marines, who will be the first foreign troops stationed in Norway since World War II, will be stationed at Norway’s Vaernes military base about 900 miles from the Russian border.
According to Reuters, the plan is for Marines, in successive six-month deployments, to be in the country for a year. Will the US military presence really end after one year, or will the one-year deployment of a few hundred Marines morph into a much longer and much larger military commitment?
In October, when the Norwegian government was considering the US request to station about 300 Marines in Norway, I noted in a Five Minutes Five Issues episode that Ryan Browne had reported a few months earlier at CNN that US Marines were positioning battle tanks, artillery, and logistics equipment in Norwegian caves. These caves, Browne suggested, already held nearly a year ago enough equipment to support 15,000 Marines.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.