Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, spoke to the San Diego Military Advisory Council Wednesday morning.
Gen. Neller touched on a number of topics from the proposed Space Force to the war in Afghanistan.
“There’s still risk out there,” he said at the Navy Mine & Anti-Submarine Warfare Base. “There are still those out there, as we commemorate 9/11 yesterday, the same people that did us harm on that day they're still there, some in different shapes or forms, but they're still there and we had that home game on 9/11. We don't want any home games.”
Neller acknowledged the growing threat of Al Qaeda even as ISIS is in decline. He said one of their main priorities is getting the force ready to respond to changing threats, including cyberspace or space itself.
Neller also talked of his time in San Diego when he stationed at Camp Pendleton in 1977 and thanked military families for their sacrifices at home.
“I can't change the fact that your husband missed anniversaries, birthdays, school recitals and I apologize for that, but that's part of this life,” he said. “I think part of family readiness is explaining ‘hey, this is what this life is. There are parts about this that's just hard, let alone when you have to deal with casualties.”
Seventeen years since the start of the war in Afghanistan, Neller says the goal is to make sure the Taliban understands it would be better to end the war politically instead of militarily. “We're committed to support the Afghan government,” he said. “They've got elections coming up and the Taliban –there is opportunity to reconcile. I think the Afghan people are tired of a war” He said that every war has to end including the War in Afghanistan and he believes the U.S. and Afghanistan may be closer now to reconciliation.
Neller also visited MCAS Miramar Wednesday and is scheduled to be at Camp Pendleton Thursday.