US GLOBAL COMBATANT COMMANDS
See post on US military bases around the world.
I just discovered this in Pfaff's book. So I googled it and found what I think is amazing but fits with all the Imperialism stuff we have learned about our government and why there are no funds for anything else.
Areas of Responsibility
President George W. Bush and Secretary Robert Gates meeting with the joint chiefs and combatant commanders.
A Unified Combatant Command (UCC) is a United States joint military command that is composed of forces from two or more services and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of branch of service, in peace and war. They are organized either on a geographical basis (known as "Area of Responsibility", AOR) or on a functional basis. Each UCC is commanded by a combatant commander (CCDR), who is a four-star general or admiral. UCCs are "joint" commands with specific badges denoting their affiliation.
The Unified Command Plan (UCP) is updated annually in conjunction with the DoD Fiscal Year and can modify areas of responsibility or combatant command alignments or assignments. As of January 2008, there were ten Unified Combatant Commands as specified in Title 10 and the latest annual UCP. Six have regional responsibilities, and four have functional responsibilities.
The current system of unified commands in the US military emerged during World War II with the establishment of geographic theaters of operation composed of forces from multiple service branches that reported to a single commander who was supported by a joint staff. A unified command structure also existed to coordinate British and American military forces operating under the Combined Chiefs of Staff, which was composed the British Chiefs of Staff Committee and the American Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the European Theater, Allied military forces fell under the command of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). After SHAEF was dissolved at the end of the war, the American forces were unified under a single command, the US Forces, European Theater (USFET), commanded by General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Unified commands in the Pacific Theater proved more difficult to organize as neither General of the Army Douglas MacArthur nor Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz were willing to become subordinate to the other. Nevertheless, the Joint Chiefs of Staff continued to advocate in favor of establishing permanent unified commands, and President Harry S. Truman approved the first plan on 14 December 1946. Known as the "Outline Command Plan," it would become the first in a series of Unified Command Plans.
Although not part of the original plan, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) also created specified commands that had broad and continuing missions but were composed of forces from only one service. Examples include the U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean and the US Air Force's Strategic Air Command. Like the unified commands, the specified commands reported directly to the JCS instead of their respective service chiefs. Although these commands have not existed since the Strategic Air Command was disestablished in 1992, federal law still contains a provision authorizing the President to establish a new specified command.
Under the original plan, each of the unified commands operated with one of the service chiefs (the Chief of Staff of the Army or Air Force, or Chief of Naval Operations) serving as an executive agent representing the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This arrangement was formalized on 21 April 1948 as part of a policy paper titled the "Function of the Armed Forces and the Joint Chiefs of Staff" (informally known as the "Key West Agreement").. The responsibilities of the unified commands were further expanded on 7 September 1948 when the commanders' authority was extended to include the coordination of the administrative and logistical functions in addition to their combat responsibilities.
The Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 clarified and codified responsibilities that commanders-in-chief (CINCs) and their predecessors (theater or area commanders) had undertaken since World War II, and which were first given legal status in 1947.
The U.S. Atlantic Command became the Joint Forces Command in the 1990s after the Soviet threat to the North Atlantic had disappeared and the need rose for an integrating and experimentation command for forces in the continental United States.
Regional CINCs were created in order to have a local supreme commander who could exercise unified command and control across service boundaries, ideally eliminating or diminishing interservice rivalries. CINCs reported directly to the United States Secretary of Defense, and through him to the President of the United States. One of the best known CINCs was Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) during Operation Desert Storm.
On 24 October 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced that in accordance with Title 10 of the US Code (USC), the title of "Commander-in-Chief" would thereafter be reserved for the President, consistent with the terms of Article II of the United States Constitution. Thereafter, the military CINCs would be known as "combatant commanders", as heads of the Unified Combatant Commands.
The sixth geographical combatant command for Africa (USAFRICOM) was approved and established in 2007. It operated under U.S. European Command during its first year. It transitioned to independent Unified Command Status October 2008. In 2009, it focused on synchronizing hundreds of activities inherited from three regional commands that previously coordinated U.S. military relations in Africa.
 Current Unified Combatant Commands
United States Africa CommandUSAFRICOMGeographic2007-10-01Kelley Barracks, Germany
United States Central CommandUSCENTCOMGeographic1983-01-01MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
United States European CommandUSEUCOMGeographic1947-03-15Patch Barracks, Germany
United States Joint Forces CommandUSJFCOMFunctional1999-10-01Norfolk, Virginia
United States Northern CommandUSNORTHCOMGeographic2002-10-01Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
United States Pacific CommandUSPACOMGeographic1947-01-01Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii
United States Southern CommandUSSOUTHCOMGeographic1963-06-06Miami, Florida
United States Special Operations CommandUSSOCOMFunctional1987-04-16MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
United States Strategic CommandUSSTRATCOMFunctional1992-06-01Offut Air Force Base, Nebraska
United States Transportation CommandUSTRANSCOMFunctional1987-07-01Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
 Former Unified and Specified Commands
Since the first Unified Command Plan was approved on 14 December 1946, several unified and specific combatant commands have been established and disestablished. Some of the commands existed before they were officially established as unified or specified commands, or continued to exist after they were disestablished.
Strategic Air CommandSACSpecified1946-12-141992-05-31Duties assumed by USSTRATCOM
Alaska CommandALCOMUnified1947-01-011975-06-30Became part of USPACOM
Far East CommandFECOMUnified1947-01-011957-07-01Became part of USPACOM
Caribbean CommandCARIBCOMUnified1947-11-011963-06-06Replaced by USSOUTHCOM
U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and MediterraneanNELMSpecified1947-11-011963-12-01Became part of USEUCOM
Atlantic CommandLANTCOMUnified1947-12-011999-09-31Replaced by USJFCOM
US Northeast CommandUSNECUnified1950-10-011956-09-01
US Air Forces, EuropeUSAFESpecified1951-01-221956-07-01Became part of USEUCOM
Continental Air Defense CommandCONADUnified
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The operational chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense to the combatant commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff may transmit communications to the Commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands from the President and Secretary of Defense and advises both on potential courses of action, but does not exercise direct military command over any combatant forces. Under Goldwater-Nichols, the service chiefs (also four stars in rank) are charged with the responsibility of the "strategic direction, unified operation of combatant commands, and the integration of all land, naval, and air forces in an efficient "unified combatant command" force. Furthermore, the services' "civilian" secretaries are responsible to "organize, train and equip" forces for use by the combatant commands and also do not exercise any operational control over their forces.
Each combatant command can be led by a general or flag officer from any of the services. Most commands have traditional service affiliations, but in recent years, non-traditional appointments have become more common. EUCOM was traditionally an Army command with USAF generals on occasion, but was held by a Marine from 2003 through 2006. CENTCOM was traditionally an Army and Marine command but William J. Fallon, commander from 2007 through 2008, was a Navy admiral. PACOM has always been commanded by a Navy admiral due to the wide expanse of ocean, although Air Force generals have been nominated for the post. U.S. Atlantic Command (USACOM) was also a traditional Navy assignment until it was successively commanded by Marine, Army, and Air Force generals, thereby becoming the first to have had commanders from all four services (USACOM was redesignated as JFCOM in 1999). CENTCOM and SOUTHCOM were traditionally Army general positions until the Marines received their first CinC assignments. This led the way for General Pace, a Marine, to become the first Marine Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ultimately Chairman. CCDRs are strong candidates for either position.
Other changes and proposals
At some points, there have been proposals to create some sort of Reserve Affairs Worldwide Support command for the Reserve and National Guard