They always say "Command X" or "Place/remove up to X". That is intentional. The command action is defined in the rules and always follow the same basic formula. All other events are exceptions that must be clearly stated on the card (at least we try to).
So your example would be to place (not remove) 0-3 cubes on to a battleground using a Command action. Command is used so that a card such as SOPs can affect it (detailed in the same posting).
That quote above also explains why the Bay of Pigs option must be implemented exactly (i.e., no less than 2 cubes removed from Alliances by the US player or the alternative must be applied), since "up to" is not used and it's not a command action. Just added this as it's cool how it all fits together (if i got all this right!).