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EUCOM is short of European Command.  Basically, spheres of American Military command stretch all over the globe.   Conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan, for example, fall under the auspices of CENTCOM.  So, obviously, EUCOM coordinates military activity in Western Europe.  EUCOM’s webpage does contain a detailed history. This is what it says for EUCOM’s “area of responsibility”:

The USEUCOM area of responsibility (AOR) has also continued to evolve during the past fifty years. In 1952 it included continental Europe, the United Kingdom, North Africa and Turkey. The AOR subsequently expanded to include Southwest Asia as far east as Iran and as far south as Saudi Arabia.

With the establishment of the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) in 1983, which assumed responsibility for most of the Middle East region, the USEUCOM AOR became Europe (including the United Kingdom and Ireland), the Mediterranean Sea (including the islands), and the Mediterranean littoral (excluding Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti), and sub-Sahara Africa.

Beginning in 1989, a sea change swept over Central and Eastern Europe, dissolving both the Warsaw Pact and ultimately the Soviet Union itself. As a result, a number of “new” countries (with additional responsibilities) were added to the AOR, bringing the total to 91 countries. It is important to note that although NATO Europe was USEUCOM’s raison d’être, the command’s mission to promote stability and democratic growth among African and Middle Eastern countries is of equal importance.

On 1 October 2002, in Unified Command Plan 02, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld introduced major changes in Joint responsibilities–every nation of the world was assigned to one of the five U.S. regional unified combatant commands. [There were ten unified combatant commands in all.] The immediate intent was to unquestionably globalize America’s growing war on terrorism. HQ USEUCOM’s AOR now totaled 93 countries, to include Russia. The theater thus comprised 30 percent of the earth’s landmass and 23 percent of the world’s population. A March 2004 change to UCP 02 transferred responsibilities for Syria and Lebanon to US Central Command, reducing USEUCOM’s AOR to 91 countries.

And, this is the description of EUCOM’s mission:

In 1989, the primary missions of the Headquarters United States European Command were essentially the same as they had been on 1 August 1952: to support the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and execute U. S. policies within the prescribed AOR.

By the end of the next two years, the politico-historical changes in Europe, as mentioned, coupled with developments outside of the AOR–of which the Gulf war in Southwest Asia (SWA) was undoubtedly the most visible–permanently changed the operational environment. The dramatic events of the 1990s ushered in a new world for the command. And 11 September 2001 totally changed the way HQ USEUCOM executes its mission responsibilities.

USEUCOM is now called upon not only to maintain ready forces to conduct unilateral operations but also to work in concert with allied and coalition partners, as can be seen since 1990–in the Middle East (Desert Storm and Operation Northern Watch), the Balkans (Operations Forge, Guardian, and Amber Fox), and the Global War on Terrorism (Operation Enduring Freedom). USEUCOM continues to enhance transatlantic security through support to NATO. Of equal importance, the command also continues to promote regional stability and advances US interests in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Russia–largely implemented through numerous theater engagement initiatives such as Partnership for Peace programs, military-to-military contact programs, and peacekeeping and peace enforcing and training operations.


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