DOD Talks Command Structure Changes

Defense News is reporting DOD is apparently discussing changes to its COCOM structure. One possible change is combining NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM into a single AOR.

Since the current boundary bisects maritime smuggling routes, this change might be helpful in easing coordination of counter drug patrols and might make it easier for the resulting organization to consider alternative strategies regarding where to commit assets.

“Combining Northern and Southern commands could lead to greater resources for activities in South and Central America, which experts say has long been DoD’s most neglected region.

“Combining the regions could better address cross border issues — particularly drug trafficking — between Mexico, South America and the United States, said Bob Killebrew, a retired Army colonel and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

“Mexico is part of Northern Command, which also includes the contiguous United States, Alaska and Canada.

“[I]t makes … sense not to have a kind of artificial DoD boundary, not only between Mexico and Central America, but between Mexico and the American border as well,” Killebrew said.”

Eliminating or reshaping AFRICOM is also being considered.

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