Applying the Combatant Command Construct to the DHS Command Structure
Author(s)Morris, John R
KeywordsAdministration and Management
Government and Political Science
Military Forces and Organizations
Command, Control and Communications Systems
*COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEMS
*DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
*UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES
MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES)
*DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
*COMBATANT COMMAND STRUCTURE
UNITY OF EFFORT
UNITY OF COMMAND
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AbstractAn analysis of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) current command structure reveals that it is in a state of dysfunction when it comes to providing a unified effort in securing the homeland. This dysfunction has several causes, but the most glaring causes are the manner in which DHS was stood up and the disjointed command system that is currently being used to unify the efforts of all of its agencies. The Department of Defense (DoD) had similar issues prior to 1986. Prior to this date, DoD lacked true unity of command and unity of effort in its mission of providing for the defense of the nation. After passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense reorganization Act of 1986, DoD implemented the Combatant Command (COCOM) structure which provided a single position, with the proper authority to command all military assets under its command, that could be geographically or functionally focused to carry out the duties assigned to it. These two seemingly unrelated topics, DHS's command structure problems and the DoD's COCOM, are revealed to be remarkably similar. The latter is an excellent construct for the former to follow in that it is a proven system which addresses DHS's command structure issues.
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