Jason Sigger has the new roster of the Defense Department’s Combatant Commanders.
- CENTCOM – Army General David Petraeus
- PACOM – Admiral Robert Willard
- EUCOM – Admiral James Stavridis
- NORTHCOM – Air Force General Victor Renuart
- SOUTHCOM – Air Force Lt Gen Douglas Fraser
- AFRICOM – Army General William Ward
- JFCOM – Marine General James Mattis
- STRATCOM – Air Force General Kevin Chilton
- SOCOM – Admiral Eric Olsen
- TRANSCOM – Air Force General Duncan McNabb
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.