Leadership Changes at the Combatant Commands and more thoughts on Realigning the State Department

Jason Sigger has the new roster of the Defense Department’s Combatant Commanders.

Jason also notes that President Obama intends to keep the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Would it be great if we had the same visibility into the leadership State Department regional bureaus? More importantly, would it be great if the regional bureaus were not headed by assistant secretaries but by Under Secretaries, a rank equivalent to a Combatant Commanders? Is a regional perspective for the State Department so much less important than the Defense Department?

A suggestion: abolish the Under Secretary for Political Affairs and elevate the regional bureau heads to Under Secretary and give each new Under Secretary the same letter acknowledging their direct connection to the President that Ambassadors receive today. At the same time, align the regional bureaus to match the geographic assignments as the Combatant Commands. The Defense Department needs a partner to balance it and the State Department must be that partner. Empowering the State Department in this way, along with enhancing the Department by making it the Department of State and Non-State, will be a huge step toward truly whole of government approaches to dealing with national security issues that encompass more than terrorism and insurgency.

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One Reply to “Leadership Changes at the Combatant Commands and more thoughts on Realigning the State Department”

  1. I find it interesting that the last two EUCOM COCOM’s were the previous SOUTCOM COCOM (Craddock and now Stavridis)… Also, what are your thoughts on E. Wayne Merry’s recent Washington Times piece (http://bit.ly/cKqMf) where he calls for empowering the DoS Director General position to a similar status as a service chief? Thanks.

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