There is a time and place to muddle through. Muddling is best when the organizational structure, environment, and problems work together toward continual refinement. But when conditions change and organizational structures fail to adequately reflect the reality of the environment, it is time for revolutionary change. The alternative is to choose the mauling of Task Force Smith. With the Combatant Command structure, the Department of Defense has been muddling through for decades. And it is time to stop.
Serving as America’s bridge between policy, strategy, and operational art, the Combatant Command (COCOM) structure was designed for a world demarcated by two global adversaries facing proxy challenges.