The White House has announced that up to 3,000 US troops will be deployed to Europe to support Ukraine. President Joe Biden has authorized the activation of members from the US military’s Selected Reserve as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the unofficial name for Washington’s efforts to assist Kiev in the ongoing conflict.
Under Biden’s executive order, the Defense and Homeland Security departments are authorized to order units and individual members to active duty. The number of mobilized reservists is not to exceed 3,000 at any given time, with a maximum of 450 members from the Individual Ready Reserve.
The decision to activate reservists is based on section 12304 of Title 10 of the US Code, which allows the president to call up reservists for situations other than war or national emergencies. This includes named operations or cases involving the use or threat of a weapon of mass destruction or a terrorist attack that could result in significant loss of life or property.
The US military has clarified that the mobilization is primarily aimed at expanding entitlements and access to funding for troops and their families. Army Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, the Joint Staff director of operations, explained that the order benefits troops by providing them with increased authorities, entitlements, and access to reserve forces and personnel.
The European Command (EUCOM) has confirmed that the mobilization will not change current force-posture levels in Europe. Navy Captain Bill Speaks, an EUCOM spokesman, stated that the order is intended to ensure the long-term resilience of EUCOM’s presence and operations.
Operation Atlantic Resolve has been ongoing since April 2014, following the reunification of Crimea with Russia after a coup in Kiev that was backed by Washington. It serves as the informal name for the actions taken by the US military in response to the conflict.
The Selected Reserve consists of personnel who can be immediately mobilized in emergencies. The Individual Ready Reserve includes trained soldiers who have recently left active duty but still have reserve obligations. The involvement of the Department of Homeland Security is due to the jurisdiction of the US Coast Guard, which falls under its authority.
The deployment of up to 3,000 US troops to support Ukraine reflects the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The US government’s decision to activate the Selected Reserve demonstrates its commitment to assisting Kiev and ensuring the long-term stability and security of Europe.