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The Unified Command Plan and Combatant Commands: Background and Issues for Congress


This report provides information on the history, mission, and operational considerations for each of these organizations as well as a brief discussion of current issues associated with the UCP and these commands. The origins of the UCP and COCOMs are rooted in World War II. After the war, U.S. leaders, taking advantage of the lessons learned in both theaters, initiated a series of legislative changes that resulted in the current UCP process and COCOM construct. The UCP and COCOMs are covered under Title 10 - Armed Forces; Subtitle A - General Military Law; Part I,Organization and General Military Powers; Chapter 6,Combatant Commands. These provisions detail the responsibilities and authorities of COCOMs as well as legal requirements related to the UCP. Potential issues for Congress include the implications of a strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific region. Another issue is whether there is a need for greater interagency involvement in the UCP development process. A possible area for congressional concern is if Geographical COCOMs have made U.S. foreign policy "too militarized." Some have also suggested there might be a need for separate COCOMs apart from the current nine to better address emerging regional and ethnic alignments as well as emerging threats such as cyber warfare. Finally, if Congress believes the current COCOM construct does not meet contemporary or future security requirements, there are proposals for alternative organizational structures that might prove more effective.


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1 R42077.pdf Jan 03, 2013 R42077 65 $29.95 ADD TO CART

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The Unified Command Plan and Combatant Commands: Background and Issues for Congress  [Order No: R42077  Release Date: Nov 07,2011  Pages: 65]