With a nod to Israel's increasingly normalized relations with the Arab world, the Pentagon is reorganizing its global command structure to include the Jewish state in the military sphere managed by the head of U.S. Central Command.
The shift, from U.S. European Command to the command that oversees U.S. military relations and operations across the Middle East, was announced Friday. The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the change, said it was ordered by President Donald Trump. It does not portend changes in the basing of U.S. forces in the Middle East or Europe.
Israel for decades had been in the sphere of European Command because of the hostile nature of its relations with many Arab countries, a condition that was viewed as making it difficult for Central Command to do business with both Israel and the Arab world. Central Command's area of responsibility stretches across the Middle East to Central Asia, including the Persian Gulf region as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan.