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American Forces Press Service

Pentagon to Reorganize Policy Shop, Improve Cooperation

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2006 – Pentagon officials unveiled a reorganization of the Defense Department’s policy office that will increase interagency cooperation.

Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, told reporters yesterday that the reorganization will allow DoD to better partner with colleagues in other agencies and to help DoD focus on developing the capabilities needed for the war on terror.

The reorganized office changes the geographic responsibility for policy, and it places cross-cutting functions under one chief.

The geographic policy responsibility has shifted. Europe and NATO, the Middle East and Africa will come under the assistant defense secretary for international security affairs. Asia Pacific, South Asia and Central Asia will come under the assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs. Western hemisphere policy decisions will come under the ASD for Homeland Defense and Americas’ security affairs.

The assistant secretary for special operations/low intensity conflict is just that, but also picks up responsibility for strategic capabilities and forces transformation.

The reorganization calls for appointing an assistant secretary for global security affairs. This cross-cutting office will oversee policy guidance for building partners capabilities, security cooperation, technical security policy, detainee affairs and POW/MIA affairs.

This is the first reorganization of the policy office since the fiscal 2002 National Defense Authorization Act that established the assistant secretary for Homeland Defense.

Edelman has been in the position for about a year. Before that he served as U.S. ambassador to Turkey. He is a career foreign service officer and has worked at State and Defense since the early 1970s.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told Edelman to examine ways to reorganize the office in light of new realities. He said he approached the reorganization very deliberately. “The guidance (Rumsfeld) gave us was to develop a set of balanced portfolios that would enable the organization to interact more effectively with the combatant commanders and … to work more effectively with outsiders,” he said.

The reorganization brings the DoD way of looking at the world more in line with the way the State Department and the National Security Council.

Edelman said the reorganization will be phased in beginning Oct. 1, and running through March 2007.

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