Relationships between U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Command Structures--Need for Closer Integration

LCD-77-491: Published: Aug 26, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 26, 1977.

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The United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military command structures are similarly organized and have basically the same overall mission, which is to provide a combat-ready force to deter aggression from the Warsaw Pact nations.

The close relationship of the two command structures is best illustrated by: several U.S. commanders being also NATO commanders; NATO assuming operational command of U.S. combat forces in a NATO war; and NATO being heavily staffed with U.S. personnel in peacetime. There are at least two alternatives that should be considered in analyzing the U.S. command structure in Europe: integration of the U.S. unified command with NATO Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe, and integration of the component commands and the U.S. European Command.

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