Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Afstan: New US command structure

So this is how the US has finely decided on command structure changes in Afstan:
The Department of Defense announced today the activation of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), a functioning command and control headquarters for U.S. forces operating in Afghanistan [emphasis added].

USFOR-A will be commanded by Gen. David D. McKiernan, who also will continue to serve as the NATO/International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander.

The stand-up of the USFOR-A headquarters is intended to enable the most efficient command and control of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and ensure effective integration and coordination between U.S. and coalition forces operating under NATO/ISAF.

The majority of U.S. resources and personnel not dedicated to ISAF are committed to training the Afghan National Security Forces through Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan. As USFOR-A commander, Gen. McKiernan is now responsible for the overall training mission and able to help tailor it to ensure Afghan forces are best prepared to operate with ISAF forces and provide security and stability to the nation of Afghanistan.

Under this new arrangement, the approximately 20,000 U.S. forces, operating as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, will come under the operational control of USFOR-A. The ISAF and OEF chains of command will remain separate and distinct, and U.S. Central Command will continue to oversee U.S. counterterrorism and detainee operations [emphasis added].

For additional information regarding this announcement, please contact USFOR-A Media Relations at 011-93-79-951-1155.
So does this mean Gen. McKiernan will command US forces under ISAF wearing two hats (and with two staffs) as commander of both ISAF and USFOR-A? Almost sounds more clumsy that what has existed. Also what will be the status of Combined Joint Task Force - 101 (more here)?

Will it report through USFOR - A in its ISAF missions to NATO HQ, and through USFOR -A to Central command for other missions?

An earlier post on US command changes is here. I suppose it's fortunate our media have not noticed the change; if they did some of our progressive columnists would no doubt be up in arms over this rampant Americanization of the Afghan operation.


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