Monday, August 12, 2013

dividing up the world

Defense News reports that the Pentagon is seriously considering redrawing the map of its combatant commands. Among the options are disestablishment of the Africa Command, combining the Northern and Southern Commands into a single Western [hemisphere] command,and putting Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Pacific Command, where India already is.

The impetus appears to be to save money, plus to put the South Asian countries together for military planning purposes. Those actions make sense.  I don't know about Africom, since it had a promising start but a troubled history.

What's ironic is that the Pentagon has long insisted that its regional divisions made such good sense that they should be copied by the rest of the government. President Obama's first national security adviser, General Jim Jones, apparently tried to do that, without success.

In fact, the DOD map made little sense because it kept political fault lines under different commands, so that the commander would not have to worry about offending one adversary when visiting or dealing with another. Israel and the Arab countries are in different commands, as are India and Pakistan. The State Department, much more logically, puts the Middle East, South Asia, and the Western Hemisphere into coherent units.

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