On 6 March, 2013, Gen James Mathis, Commander USCENTCOM, presented the CENTCOM posture statement to congress. These statements are presented annually by the various combatant commands to congress to show how their forces are postured to meet national security needs. This provides commanders the opportunity to inform congress of the challenges present within their Area of Operations and what measures they take to meet those challenges. Posture statements also present an opportunity to tell congress any resource shortfalls they may have in carrying out their mission.
The USCENTCOM posture statement does a good job of showing the challenges and opportunities in the region with regard to US efforts and what USCENTCOM is doing to meet their obligations. This statement also recognizes current fiscal realities and demonstrates their expectations that they will not have the same level of resources that they once had. That said, one area that Gen Mathis would like to see funded is strategic communications and information operations. He finds these programs to be “relatively inexpensive activities [that] support interagency efforts to counter violent extremist ideology and diminish the drivers of violence that Al Qaeda and other terrorists exploit. To make this supportable across the Defense enterprise requires an enduring funding mechanism that DOD and our partners can rely on.” The discussion on strategic communications and information operations can be found beginning on page 26 of the posture statement, which can be downloaded below.
If you would like to view other posture statements released to this point, you can find them at: