Syria Strike Shows There is No Regional Conflict

The US military must think globally about every challenge it faces, Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday. “Nothing is a regional problem set,” he told the audience at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force event in Arlington, Va. “When we talk about … Russia as a resurgent competitor, we talk about it as a global problem set,” he added. US European Command is not solely responsible for Russia, but EUCOM does “coordinate all of the department’s effort across the [combatant commands] in thinking about Russia.” This arrangement reduces the tendency of the COCOMS to “compete with each other,” because “if you make it a mutual problem set, they actually become really good about sharing the capabilities.” This global coordination was on display, Selva said, in the April 6 strike against the Shayrat airbase in Syria. “The two ships that struck Syria were not assigned to CENTCOM,” he said. “They are actually forces assigned to EUCOM.” The strike also made use of “a command and control network that shared weapons, shared data, shared intelligence.” Selva also said, “When they were ready to shoot, the ships chopped over to CENTCOM for the shoot order, and as soon as they declared missiles away, they were chopped back to EUCOM because we made it a global problem set.”