EXOP - National Security Staff

Eliminate 6 COMBATANT Commands

DoD should eliminate the 6 Geographic Combatant Commands.


- The COMBATANT command organizational model is a holdover from the Cold War - when the primary mission of the DoD was to prepare for war in a specific theater of operations. This organizational model no longer effectively supports the changes in the global security environment nor facilitates interagency cooperation.


- COMBATANT Command sends the wrong strategic message for organizations attempting outreach, cooperation, partnership, etc… Refer to the new National Security Strategy


- The Joint Staff and Military Departments can accomplish all strategic and operational planning within their organizational structures – from CONUS. This would reduce the cost of overseas PCS moves, Overseas housing costs and PCS moves away from service specific concentration areas.


- A primary reason this organization model has gone unchanged since the 1980’s is that it supports joint ticket punching needed for senior officer promotions. This was a great idea when it started to ensure jointness, but it is no longer an affordable option. Jointness could be achieved by consolidating all War Colleges and teach a standardized joint curriculum to all officers.


- To replace the COCOM, Interagency task forces or centers should be created and report directly to the NSC. According to NDU, JIATF South has been a great success and a good starting point for reorganization. AFRICOM, regardless of the political spin, has been a failed experiment. A recent GAO report also supports the need for better interagency cooperation for foreign policy/outreach efforts.


Potential Cost Savings (Conservative):

Eliminate 15,000 joint billets = $180M/Y

Reduce PCS/Overseas Cost of Living = $25M/Y


Of course some the savings would need to be reinvested in other departments.


When the federal coffers are once again overflowing, stand these COCOMs back-up. Until then....



Idea No. 8738