Magazine article DISAM Journal

Department of Defense Leaders Eye Higher-Priority Label for Security Cooperation Missions

Magazine article DISAM Journal

Department of Defense Leaders Eye Higher-Priority Label for Security Cooperation Missions

Article excerpt

[The following article originally appeared on InsideDefense.com, March 9, 2010.]

Two Combatant Commanders today lauded a yet-to-be-finalized move by Department of Defense (DOD) leaders to formally raise the priority of military security cooperation missions--a development that could swell the ranks of U.S. forces tasked with beefing up indigenous security forces around the globe. The issue came up during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this morning, when U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) chief Army General William Ward was asked about his involvement in work on the revised Guidance for the Employment of the Force (GEF). Top defense officials are reviewing a draft of the classified, high-level document. A final version is slated to be released internally sometime next month.

Ward said he was pleased with the GEF consultations between the Pentagon and his command.

  The draft document, Ward said, is looking at ensuring that the
  requirement that we have for resources to conduct a very essential
  building partner capacity is being treated at a level of priority
  different than the past, so that those forces that are required to do
  that mission will enjoy a higher priority than has been the case in
  the past.

U.S. European Command chief Admiral James Stavridis, who testified at the same hearing, interjected to "associate" himself with Ward's comments. "I think it is a bit of a sea-change in the department, and it is a good one," Stavridis said.

According to a Pentagon source, Ward and Stavridis were referring to security cooperation missions' receiving a higher spot on the draft GEF's "master priority list" on which all missions for U.S. military forces are ranked in order.

A higher priority means greater consideration for the mission area in the classified global force management allocation plan, or GFMAP. …

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