President Biden, on Thursday, granted authorization for the Pentagon to activate a maximum of 3,000 U.S. reserve troops for deployment in Ukraine, thereby bolstering the American forces engaged in Operation Atlantic Resolve. This directive empowers the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security to deploy active duty units and personnel from the Selected Reserve or the Individual Ready Reserve. However, it specifies that no more than 450 members should be sourced from the latter category.
Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims, the director of operations for the Joint Staff, told reporters:
“This reaffirms the unwavering support and commitment to the defense of NATO’s eastern flank in the wake of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war on Ukraine,”
Following President Biden’s extensive trip to Europe, including visits to the U.K., Lithuania, and Finland, this choice has been made to reinforce global solidarity in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While Ukraine expressed disappointment over the lack of a definitive pathway to NATO membership, Biden reassured that existing NATO agreements would guarantee Kyiv’s long-term security, even in the absence of official membership. He emphasized that Ukrainian President Zelenskyy was satisfied with this arrangement, despite voiced frustrations regarding the uncertainty surrounding Ukraine’s potential NATO integration.