Biden authorizes US military to deploy thousands of reservists in Europe

Washington DC - The US Department of Defense may activate up to 3,000 reservists for deployment in Europe in the future.

President Joe Biden has signed an order authorizing the deployment of 3,000 US reserves in Europe.
President Joe Biden has signed an order authorizing the deployment of 3,000 US reserves in Europe.  © TASOS KATOPODIS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

An order signed by US President Joe Biden on Thursday said it was necessary to reinforce the active forces for the implementation of operation Atlantic Resolve.

The US Army launched the mission after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, which violated international law. The mission aimed to strengthen NATO allies by deploying combat-ready units on a rotational basis to NATO's eastern flank.

The United States European Command (EUCOM) announced after the president's order that this does not change the US troop strength in Europe. It is not a question of additional forces, US Lieutenant General Douglas Sims told reporters.

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Rather, reservists could, in the future, take over tasks that were previously carried out by soldiers from an active unit.

The US reserves will take part in operation Atlantic Resolve, launched after Russia's invasion of Crimea in 2014.
The US reserves will take part in operation Atlantic Resolve, launched after Russia's invasion of Crimea in 2014.  © NATALIA DOBRYSZYCKA / AFP

Pentagon leaders say Biden's move demonstrates US commitment to supporting Ukraine

It was not made clear whether this means that the reservists could serve as a quasi relief for active soldiers in Europe. The US defence department also said that would ultimately be up to the EUCOM commander to decide how to use the new powers.

Lieutenant General Sims said the move illustrated the unwavering support and commitment of the US to the defense of NATO's eastern flank in the wake of Russia's "illegal and unprovoked war against Ukraine."

Following the announcement, Politico wrote that the move indicated how demanding the US military's training mission in Europe, as well as the deployment of several new brigades following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, is on active forces. The Washington Post came to a similar conclusion.

Cover photo: Collage: NATALIA DOBRYSZYCKA / AFP & TASOS KATOPODIS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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