Biden Initiates Operation Atlantic Resolve in Europe, Inching the Nation Towards a Potential War With Russia
President Joe Biden signed an order on Thursday allowing the Pentagon to call up as many as 3,000 reserve troops to support Operation Atlantic Resolve in Europe.
This operation will be designated as a contingency operation, said Army Lt. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II, Joint Staff director of operations, during a press briefing on Thursday.
“This new designation benefits troops and families with increases in authorities, entitlements and access to the reserve component forces and personnel,” Sims said.
“This [executive order] reaffirms the unwavering support and commitment to defend NATO‘s eastern flank in the wake of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war on Ukraine,” Sims said.
According to the US Department of Defense, U.S. European Command is preparing to use this new authority in continuation of U.S. commitment to NATO’s collective security.
Operation Atlantic Resolve began in 2014 in response to the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. The order “provides rotational deployments of combat-credible forces to Europe to show our commitment to NATO while building readiness, increasing interoperability, and enhancing the bonds between ally and partner militaries,” per U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s website.
Last year, the Biden administration increased the troop presence in Europe by 20,000, bringing the total of U.S. forces on the continent to around 100,000.
“The designation of OAR as a contingency operation is an important demonstration of the U.S. commitment to our NATO Allies and partners,” U.S. European Command Spokesperson U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Speaks said in a statement. “It further provides US EUCOM with greater flexibility to support continued U.S. and Allied commitments to the defense of the Euro-Atlantic and allows us to provide key entitlements to the forces who support those commitments.”
So far the U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than $40 billion worth of military aid in the last 17 months.
Last week President Biden agreed to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine. On Thursday, Sims confirmed that the cluster munitions have reached Ukraine.