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Who is in charge of the United Nations Space Command, in Halo?

'Lord Terrance Hood' or maybe president of the UEG seem like options to be Commander-in-chief, but I see no canon evidence to support this idea.

Who is the absolute highest authority that presides over the UNSC?

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It appears to be subordinate to the United Earth Government. http://www.halopedia.org/United_Nations_Space_Command#Organization

Within the UNSC, the highest ranking body is the "UNSC High Command" (the Admiralty) which is split into two groups, basically ground forces and naval forces. http://www.halopedia.org/UNSC_High_Command

The upper group of UNSC High command is the UNSC Security Council. http://www.halopedia.org/UNSC_Security_Council

During the human-covenant war, the UNSC security council superseded earth government.

Membership changes over time, but Terrence Hood seems to have staying power.

Bottom line: if he is not the single senior executive in UNSC, then there is no such single figure.

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The UNSC Security Council, which comprises the Commanders-in-Chief of the Navy (Admiral Hood), Unicom, the intra-atmospheric forces (General Strauss), the Marine Corps (General Hogan), the Air Force (General Dellert) and ONI, the secret services (Admiral Osman), presides the Admiralty in the post-Covenant war era, as seen in Halo: Escalation n°1.

However, in Halo: Glasslands, it is said that Admiral Hood is widely seen as the most powerful man of the UNSC, so he bears a de facto authority.

Additionally, the civilian government, UEG, and its president, Ruth Charet, should have authority over the military and scientific branch that is UNSC. Whether it does have the capacity to control UNSC or not is debatable, but it looks more like they are working together politically speaking in the recent Hunt the Truth audio series.

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