GOP senators freak out after Biden orders 3000 reservists to ready for possible deployment to Europe

GOP senators freak out after Biden orders 3000 reservists to ready for possible deployment to Europe
President Joe Biden pets the Biden family dog Champ in the Oval Office of the White House Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, prior to a bipartisan meeting with House and Senate members to discuss supply chains. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
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U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), along with a host of far-right wing critics on social media are fear-mongering over a Thursday White House memo announcing President Joe Biden as Commander in Chief has ordered up to 3000 reservists to be ready for deployment to Europe. Some are falsely claiming this could lead to war with Russia, World War III, or a reinstatement of the draft.

“It’s not clear whether the troops will actually be deployed,” Politico reports, “but it suggests the U.S. military presence in Europe is under strain.”

The order is to “augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation Atlantic Resolve,” the President states. Operation Atlantic Resolve was created in 2014 in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unlawful annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

“The designation not only allows the president to mobilize reservists,” Politico adds, “but also ensures they are paid and supported as active-duty troops. It also provides support for families and dependents of any reservists who might be deployed.”

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As of last year the U.S. has approximately 100,000 troops in Europe.

“While the move gives the military’s European Command ‘greater flexibility’ to defend the continent, it will not change the actual force levels in Europe, Capt. Bill Speaks, a spokesperson for U.S. European Command, said in a statement,” Politico adds.

Jim LaPorta, a former investigative reporter for the Associated Press, a former U.S. Marine, and currently the national security reporter for The Messenger explained what the memo actually does – and does not do.

“For perspective: no, this isn’t ‘the beginning of WWIII.’ These Reservists are also not additional forces. Instead, this is the Pentagon’s version of part time workers coming in to give a break to the full time employees. There’s a number of reasons for this but that’s the goal.”

But according to Senator Lee, despite the move not increasing the actual number of troops on the ground in Europe, the additional 3000 troops who may or may not be deployed means, “President Biden is arguably walking the U.S. up to the line of war and daring Russia to shoot first.”

In a lengthy Twitter thread, Senator Lee begins, “I’ve been trying to figure out what this means.” As a sitting U.S. Senator he has vast resources to find out, including calling the White House, the Secretary of Defense, the Dept. of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, or any of their press secretaries.

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Instead, the Senator from Utah took to Twitter overnight to suggest war with Russia might be next – even though he also writes, “Open-source information on Operation Atlantic Resolve from DOD does not suggest any forces are present in Ukraine under this mission.”

Lee also writes, “we might have to invoke the War Powers Act,” meaning trying to stop President Biden from continuing U.S. support in Europe for Ukraine via Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Senator Ted Cruz jumped on Lee’s bandwagon, retweeting his remarks and going one step further.

“This is reckless & dangerous. I want to see Putin defeated, but UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should U.S. servicemen & women be sent to fight in Ukraine. Biden’s weakness started this war & now he’s threatening to put our military in a shooting war with Russia,” Cruz falsely claimed.

No U.S. forces are fighting in Ukraine, as President Biden has repeatedly made clear.

Russian President Vladimir Putin started the illegal war against Ukraine, and the International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued a warrant for his arrest on war crime charges.

Others on the right continued the baseless fear-mongering.

A former Lee campaign official asked, “Are you ok with the President of the United States dragging us into World War 3?” Sen. Lee retweeted that question, and aded, “Nope.”

Far-right wing commentator Charlie Kirk, the head of Turning Point USA and a member of the highly-secretive, pluto-theocratic Council for National Policy also joined in, using the news to attack LGBTQ service members, Pentagon policies, and the undocumented.

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“Joe Biden is calling up reservists for active duty in Operation Atlantic Resolve, because apparently it can’t fill the ranks of its rainbow flag military as recruitment plummets,” he tweeted. “This is not to fortify our border, which remains wide open, but to increase our deployments near Ukraine.”

“America Last strikes again!” concluded Kirk, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump.

GOP presidential candidate and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy in a lengthy tweet compared the order of just 3000 reservists to “the Iraq War, when the justification was nonexistent ‘weapons of mass destruction’ held by Saddam Hussein. What is the justification now? What are the operations? Where will they go? What will they do? We need answers, not sweeping this under the rug as @JoeBiden would prefer.”

The White House released the memo on which he is basing his remarks.

“I am equally sad & shocked that I have to ask questions that the mainstream press, and even much of the GOP, won’t,” he continued, despite reports in Politico, Newsweek, NY Post, Washington Examiner, Military.com, Fox News, Stars and Stripes, and UPI. “Pray that asking such questions won’t soon be alleged as a violation of the Espionage Act.”

Dr. Naomi Wolf, the “anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist,” suggested Biden’s move could lead to the draft.

“WH prepares our kids for war. @BrianOSheaSPI says that this is how Vietnam started. The next step allows Biden to declare war and a draft, w/o Congressional approval.”

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