Unity of Command in Afghanistan: A Forsaken Principle of War
Strategy Research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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This strategic research paper discusses the traditional importance of unity of command in American doctrine and practice from World War One until now, and how this principle has been forsaken in the evolution of military command for Afghanistan. It examines how there was an unprecedented departure from the principle of unity of command in Afghanistan in 2006, when Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan CFC-A passed control of the ground fight to the International Security Assistance Force ISAF, and operations became split between several unified or supreme commanders in charge of US Central Command CENTCOM, North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO, and US Special Operations Command SOCOM. It argues for a renewal of understanding of the importance of unity of command, and recommends that the United States revert to the application of this principle by amending the Unified Command Plan UCP to invest one supreme commander with responsibility for the current Operation Enduring Freedom OEF Joint Operations Area JOA.
- Government and Political Science