It’s often said that to determine someone’s priorities, take a look at how they spend their time and their money. Organizations are no different. Glancing at an organizational chart does not just reveal reporting relationships – it depicts the organization’s focus. In the U.S. military, the combatant commands organize time (planning) and money (resources). They currently reflect an immediate post-Cold War institutional shift toward a regional orientation that does not match modern needs. Chairman Dunford argued this spring that future “conflicts are very quickly going to spread across multiple combatant commanders, geographic boundaries and functions” and the current planning process is muddled and does not prioritize threats. The Unified Command Plan (UCP) should be updated to reflect the priorities of the U.S. military by disbanding the geographic combatant commands and replacing them with mission-oriented commands.
Read the full article at The National Interest.
More from CNAS
ReportsThe Poison Frog Strategy
Introduction How could Taiwan and the United States respond if China seized one of Taiwan’s outlying islands, such as Pratas/Dongsha (hereafter Dongsha) in the South China Sea...
By Chris Dougherty, Jennie Matuschak & Ripley Hunter
ReportsImproving Joint Operational Concept Development within the U.S. Department of Defense
Executive Summary For the first time in nearly four decades, the DoD is developing joint warfighting concepts designed to counter advanced military rivals—specifically China a...
By Paul Benfield & Greg Grant
CommentaryWhy the Pentagon Should Abandon ‘Strategic Competition’
The U.S. Defense Department has recently been taught it too needs to say the magic word in every force, capability, or resource request. But the magic word isn’t please; it’s ...
By Becca Wasser & Stacie Pettyjohn
CommentaryDon’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Getting Force Design Right in the Next National Defense Strategy
Biden should narrowly focus the DoD on high-end deterrence against China and Russia instead of strategic competition or managing an expanded array of lesser threats....
By Stacie Pettyjohn & Becca Wasser