If you have the stamina to slog through a bog of military acronyms, I highly recommend Canadian Colonel Ian Hope’s excellent new paper on unity of command in Afghanistan, published by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Instititute. It’s a tough read but it’s important:
While SACEUR’s soldiers fight in Afghanistan, CINCCENT retains control of the U.S. service component contributions to the fight, including the CLFCC and CFACC, the CSTC-A functions, and development functions in the U.S. PRTs. CENTCOM works with SOCOM to coordinate the counterterrorist fight, and with the DOS to support counter-narcotics operations; and CINCCENT engages with Pakistan to coordinate counterinsurgency and counterterrorist operations. SACEUR has no involvement in these activities. The White House and CENTCOM have been reluctant to shift any of these functions to NATO and EUCOM because they fear being constrained by the alliance. At the same time, NATO members are suspicious of continued CENTCOM involvement, and have placed heavy caveats upon their forces to protect them from being sucked into OEF missions that are directed unilaterally by the White House and CENTCOM with no alliance input. U.S. reluctance to work within NATO and European refusal to support U.S. unilateralism have created a fractured command structure that is abetting the Taliban insurgency and the forces of corruption that plague Afghanistan.
For what it’s worth, my take on the problem is here.
(Via Small Wars Journal.)