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Civil Reconnaissance Teams: The Expeditionary Arm of Civil Affairs Forces

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Civil Reconnaissance Teams: The Expeditionary Arm of Civil Affairs Forces

Andrew J. Bibb

The new Army FM 3-57: Civil Affairs Operations, published in April of 2019, has made it much easier to answer the question, “What does Civil Affairs (CA) do?” Civil Affairs forces pursue truth and ascertain the on-the-ground reality on behalf of the supported commander. They are trained to convey that reality to the commander with accuracy, cohesion, and clarity through civil information management (CIM). This capability is essential because without civil inputs into the commander’s common operational picture (COP) he or she lacks sufficient understanding of critical aspects of the operational environment (OE) to make fully informed command decisions.1

The unfortunate truth is that supported commands are not nearly as aware or informed of what Civil Affairs offers as other branches. Every commander knows that the role of the Infantry is to close with and destroy the enemy. Not every commander knows that Civil Affairs Soldiers and Marines are his or her sensors on the battlefield. According to Dr. Nadia Schadlow, the primary author behind the 2017 National Security Strategy, CA assets have proven “useful in such a wide range of operations that their relationship to war had been obfuscated.”2 This slows the integration process and complicates relationships within the Joint Force.

Compounding this issue is the fact that, during Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO), civil considerations are most likely not at the top of the commander’s list of priorities. As a threat focused entity, it is easy for the U.S. military to forget or ignore the myriad of other factors that contribute to success in war. The goal of war, however, is not simply the defeat of the enemy. Dr. Schadlow argues that the goal of war “has always been a political outcome that determines who rules what territory, with what type of institutions.”3 CA is the only military force tasked, trained, and equipped to directly monitor and influence this outcome.

Commanders, however, must be shown that CA is not only a critical asset during postwar stabilization, but also during combat operations. Dr. Schadlow explains regarding Operation Iraqi Freedom, “The phased approach to the war separated combat operations (Phase III) from postwar stabilization (Phase IV) and reinforced the view that ‘postwar’ problems were not integral to the war itself.”4 The lingering effects of this way of thinking can still be felt.

The question, then, is how to take the guesswork out of the equation and show supported commanders, clearly and concisely, what CA offers before, during, and after combat operations. Civil Affairs is such a broad term that the usefulness of Civil Affairs Teams (CATs) as a maneuver element is not readily apparent to non-CA elements. This is especially true in the case of LSCO. What supported commanders need from CA is the articulation and delivery of a dedicated expeditionary CA element oriented toward supporting operations in Close and Deep Maneuver Areas.

Civil Reconnaissance Teams (CRTs)

Like the word “Infantry,” when commanders hear the term “scout” they have a clear conception of what that means. Scouts have been employed by military forces for as long as warfare has been waged. Scouts are tasked to confirm or deny threat-related assumptions, clarify and fill in the commander’s COP, and determine the effects of terrain on maneuver and sustainment elements. Their mission is straightforward, but critical to the commander’s decision-making process.

Likewise, CA assets are tasked to confirm or deny non-threat related assumptions, clarify and enhance the commander’s COP, and determine the effects of human terrain on maneuver and sustainment elements. One article describes modern CA forces as “human terrain ‘scouts’ who are mission-focused in their collection efforts, as opposed to the traditional image of civil affairs as passive database managers or distributors of humanitarian assistance.”5 Their mission is not quite as straightforward as traditional scouts, but is just as critical to the commander’s decision-making process.

This is especially true in the realm of hybrid threats, which “combine regular and irregular threats, terrorist forces, or criminal elements unified (or allied) to achieve mutually benefitting effects.”6 It has been argued that “the future of U.S. national security will rest in our Nation’s ability to dynamically respond to these hybrid threats.”7 The authors of a recent Small Wars Journal article explain that “hybrid warfare’s efficacy lies in the combination of multiple layers of irregular, economic, information, socio-political, and cyber warfare. As the Army’s only soldiers specially trained to shape human geography, CA capabilities enable them to detect, understand, and counter hybrid warfare threats.”8

The term “Civil Affairs” is so broad and implies such a myriad of different activities that when a CAT is attached to a non-CA military unit, the supported commander will likely not know how it should be employed until he receives the CAT’s capabilities brief. Even then their use may not be readily apparent. It may be beneficial to borrow from the playbook of our Psychological Operations (PSYOP) brethren and brand Civil Affairs units tasked to support other entities based on the specific need of the supported unit, agency, or organization.

PYSOP assets are task organized into three types of teams: Regional, Tactical, and Special. Regional PSYOP Teams support allied coalitions or agencies, such as the Department of State. Tactical PSYOP Teams support Joint Special Operations Task Forces and Special Forces Groups. Special Military Information Support Operations Teams support other special operations initiatives.9 CA would benefit from similar branding and task organization based on the needs of the supported element. Army Special Operations Forces (SOF) CA units already do this for civil-military engagements with civil-military support elements (CMSEs).

Names mean things. They promote and prioritize certain behaviors. Just as PSYOP employs Tactical Teams, CA elements supporting commanders focused on countering hybrid warfare and conducting LSCO against near-peer threats should be task organized, equipped, trained, and designated as Civil Reconnaissance Teams (CRTs). This designation, more so than “Civil Affairs Teams,” immediately identifies CA assets as “the Land Component Commander’s premier capability for tactical reconnaissance of the civil component of the battlefield.”10 When initiating and conducting LSCO, commanders do not have time to figure out what CA can offer. Taking out the guesswork and readily identifying the branch with its reconnaissance capability will streamline the integration process.

The question may be asked, “Why are CRTs necessary if there are other assets performing the reconnaissance function?” Chung, Dickerson, and Liddick explain that “even the most technologically advanced ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] platforms have limitations. While they excel at gathering data of the physical terrain against conventional enemy threats, they are not designed to detect things like human relationships, power dynamics, cultural factors, populace support, and motivations.”11 CA forces can also prioritize data by relevance and importance, whereas ISR assets often produce too much data to be readily actionable without a significant investment of analytical time and manpower.

The need for Civil Affairs integration into LSCO against near-peer and hybrid threats is already well-established in doctrine. Objectives of Civil-Military Operations outlined in JP 3-10: Joint Security Operations include, “Reduce civil interference with joint security operations” and vice versa; “Assist in the integration of civil security and defense assets”; and support operations “with information about individuals and groups in the operational environment, conditions affecting their behavior, and other factors by engagement with the local population.”12 FM 3-98: Reconnaissance and Security Operations asserts that because “The populace decides whether the governance mechanisms within their society are legitimate,” Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) “that exhibit an understanding of the operational environment are prepared to engage their counterparts to influence and enhance the effectiveness of their operations.”13

These objectives are not to be put on hold until the stability phase, but must be accomplished in tandem with LSCO. This is borne out by the fact that Cavalry squadrons “must” conduct civil affairs operations (CAO) in their assigned areas of operations (AOs), with CA support.14 Army doctrine also encourages commanders to “have some reconnaissance elements determine and report civilian activities in population nodes during operations.”15 The extent to which reconnaissance, security, and civil affairs operations are intertwined may be surprising to those who assume that the mapping of civil networks and identification of key influencers is a post-combat operations task. Just as threat and terrain-centric reconnaissance “is performed before, during, and after operations,”16 civil reconnaissance is necessary at every time and place civilians are involved.

Civil Affairs Support to Multi-Domain Operations

Noting that “the Army is rapidly modernizing its force to succeed in Multi-Domain Operations (MDO),” Chung, Dickerson, and Liddick assert that “CA must change to fulfill an essential role in the multi-domain solution.”17 MDO doctrine itself recognizes, “Since war is fundamentally and primarily a human endeavor, the Joint Force working with its partners, must address the cognitive aspects of political, human, social, and cultural interactions to achieve operational and national objectives.”18 As the only military force specifically tasked with understanding and influencing the human domain, CA forces must be able to articulate how they plan to deliver in an MDO context. CRTs, as the solution to the expeditionary gap in the CA strategic engagement strategy, enable a holistic approach to understanding the role of CA in support of MDO.

MDO is predicated on the threat of near-peer adversaries employing “multiple layers of stand-off” in the “political, military and economic realms to separate the U.S. from our partners.”19 CA forces are designed to close the gaps between the U.S. military and partner forces, with CRTs as the tactical arm of this capability during LSCO. In this way they contribute to the “rapid and continuous integration of all domains of warfare.”20

MDO parses the U.S. contest against near-peer threats into two realms: competition, which is deterrence short of armed conflict, and armed conflict itself. Whereas CATs and CMSEs operate in the realm of competition as forward presence forces, CRTs are designed to be employed in support of expeditionary forces engaging in active combat operations.21 CATs and CMSEs prepare “the operational environment for competition and conflict by building understanding of and capabilities in select urban areas of particular operational or strategic importance.”22 In this way they lay the CIM and networking foundation for CRTs to action and build upon during LSCO.

In the armed conflict phase, CRTs support expeditionary units conducting operations in Close and Deep Maneuver Areas, where they facilitate “convergence with other domains” by detecting and integrating civil networks in support of military objectives.23 In doing so, CRTs enable commander’s to “impose additional complexity on the enemy,” eroding the civil groundwork built upon by adversaries to maintain their presence in that given area of operations.24 They also utilize these human networks to provide information regarding high-priority targets and, if necessary, pass that information through “non-standard communications systems.”25

MDO doctrine views civil engagement as a form of cognitive maneuver that “presents multiple dilemmas to an enemy” and “creates windows of superiority for friendly forces.”26 In the case of armed conflict, civil “engagement provides a deeper and common understanding of the operational environment, and enables opening windows of superiority and turning denied spaces into contested spaces.”27 This is where CA as a whole, and CRTs in particular, truly have the greatest opportunity to contribute to the lethality and effectiveness of the Joint Force in LSCO.

For CRTs to be maximally effective they cannot be seen only as tactical reconnaissance assets, but as the tactical arm of a larger engagement strategy. In a hypothetical build-up from competition to armed conflict, CATs and CMSEs map, analyze, and influence human networks in high priority urban areas prior to the outbreak of armed conflict. When the Joint Force transitions to armed conflict, CRTs, supporting expeditionary forces, activate these networks and enable key civil capabilities in support of operational and national objectives. This is in addition to and supportive of their primary civil reconnaissance task, and it highlights the need for expert CIM across the force.

So, the question is not whether CRTs are necessary, but how best to employ Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership & Education, Personnel, Facilities, and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) to produce the most capable CRTs possible and integrate them most effectively. Chung, Dickerson, and Liddick identify the essential CA capabilities as those which “enable them to detect, understand, and counter hybrid warfare threats.”28 To orient DOTMLPF-P to the enhancement of these capabilities is to ensure the relevance of CA, and specifically CRTs, in LSCO and hybrid warfare.

Detect: CRT Doctrine, Organization, Training, and Materiel

The 2018 National Defense Strategy asserts that “the Joint Force must gain and maintain information superiority,”29 which is why detection, or civil reconnaissance, is first in the hierarchy of CA capabilities. CRTs are so named to reflect this fact as it manifests in a tactical, expeditionary context. Just as commanders cannot fully understand threats until scouts confirm or deny their initial assumptions, CA elements cannot understand, much less counter, civil vulnerabilities until they achieve sufficient awareness of the on-the-ground reality. In other words, civil reconnaissance is not only first in the hierarchy of CAO, it is the most marketable capability CA has to offer non-CA commanders. It is the “sine qua non” of CA because it enables understanding which informs solutions to counter hybrid threats.30

The authors of “Reconnaissance Found: Redefining Army Special Operations Forces Integration” explain, “Just as scouts are tasked with information requirements and named areas of interest, civil affairs elements must prioritize their information collection efforts (i.e., orient on the reconnaissance objective) along the lines of the commander’s priority intelligence requirements for their respective area of responsibility.”31 The first change of doctrine to facilitate this process should be the addition of a new category of information requirement: the civil information requirement (CIR). This will produce at least two beneficial effects.

First, including the CIR as a category will help to prevent overlooking the civil component when determining information requirements. Civil reconnaissance “begins with the commander’s guidance,” so whenever civil considerations are overlooked in the commander’s critical information requirements (CCIRs) civil reconnaissance is unfocused and less effective than it otherwise could be. The CIR as a distinct category will highlight the necessity of command guidance regarding the civil component and implement a key lesson learned: “Commanders must provide clearly defined targeting priorities and information collection guidance.”32

Second, a dedicated CIR category will focus CRTs’ efforts on those aspects of the human domain that the commander deems critical to his decision-making process, rather than ancillary data that has little-to-no relevance to the commander. This will not constrain CRTs to only those CIRs, as “specific mission details should be left to the discretion of the” CRTs conducting the reconnaissance “as long as they are focused through the civil information collection plan and meet the commander’s intent.”33 Rather, CIRs will help CRTs prioritize and focus their efforts, as well as provide baseline reporting criteria. This will help to ensure that “secondary,”34 but relevant, civil information is not overlooked, while simultaneously ensuring that the commander’s information requirements are prioritized.

Because the “commander assigns a reconnaissance objective based on priority information requirements (PIR)…and the reconnaissance asset’s capabilities and limitations,”35 CRTs must be prepared to deliver on promised reconnaissance capabilities. This means being realistic about the geographic area and population density that a CRT can effectively cover. It also means ensuring that the organization, training, and equipping of a CRT maximizes its potential on behalf of the supported commander, keeping in mind that commanders “can easily over task and overextend dedicated reconnaissance assets.”36

The organization of CRTs may reflect the four-man model of current CATs, however, given the fluidity of combat operations, CRTs should be flexible and modular in their structure. Certain areas and population densities require more manpower than others, as is reflected in FM 3-57: Civil Affairs Operations.37 Depending on the needs of the supported command, CRTs should also retain the freedom to incorporate additional capabilities (PSYOP, interagency support, etc.) into their task organization so long as they do not distract from the civil reconnaissance mission.

The foremost way to guarantee maximally effective CRTs is to ensure they are trained and validated properly. To maximize a CRT’s effectiveness, units should focus on schools and training events that enable reconnaissance activities. For example, courses such as the Advanced Situational Awareness Course will enhance CRTs’ ability to detect and retain relevant civil information in LSCO and hybrid warfare environments.38

As CA’s tactical support to expeditionary forces, force protection (FORCEPRO) considerations are of paramount importance for CRTs. Emphasis on this aspect during individual and collective pre-mission training will be enhanced by cross-training with such subject-matter experts as the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade’s Advanced Skills Detachment (ASD) and Special Forces units. These training events should culminate in CRTs’ support to expeditionary forces during combat training center (CTC) rotations to refine standard operating procedures (SOPs) and capture lessons learned for future integration.

As reconnaissance assets, CRTs are in an ideal position to employ drone technology in support of commanders’ objectives. Although there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction in terms of human engagement, there are many aspects of the civil component that can be mapped much more effectively using aerial surveillance technology. Transportation infrastructure, urban layouts, and access to natural resources are but a few of these, the mapping of which is valuable and can be done in a fraction of the time if CRTs are properly resourced. Drone technology is also valuable from a FORCEPRO perspective, allowing CRTs to determine the safety of planned routes before traveling them.

Understand and Counter: Civil-Military Operations Center and Civil Affairs Operations Staff Support

Like traditional CATs, CRTs require Civil-Military Operations Center (CMOC) and CAO staff support. The civil information gathered and CIRs answered by the CRTs is routed through the CMOC to the CAO staff. At each of these steps, CA forces analyze and increase shared understanding of the civil information gathered by the CRTs. While analysis should start at the CRT level, it is through the CAO staff that civil information is fed into the commander’s COP and becomes actionable by him. The CAO staff, or the “G-9/S-9, in conjunction with the G-2/S-2, integrates outputs of the civil information collection plan with the outputs of the intelligence collection plan to enable situational understanding, targeting, and operations in order to support the strategic roles of the Army.”39 In doing so, CAO staff enables the “synchronization of lethal and nonlethal effects.”40

The CMOC is “the doctrinal solution that facilitates unity of effort during unified land operations between the civil environment and military forces conducting operations within a given area of operations.”41 It is also the commander’s and CAO staff’s conduit for communication with the CRTs. In the event of a change of mission or refined guidance, the CMOC ensures that CRTs are fully informed and act in accordance with the commander’s overall intent. Just as importantly, the CMOC does the bulk of the work maintaining the civil component of the COP. In support of MDO, this enables “commanders and staffs at each echelon to visualize and command a battle in all domains, the EMS [electromagnetic spectrum], and the information environment, converging organic and external capabilities at decisive spaces.”42

Once the Joint Force has achieved superiority in the realm of armed conflict, a successful return to competition under conditions favorable to a political outcome depends on the effective application of the understanding and influence gained by CRTs and other CA forces during LSCO. The identification of civil networks, key influencers, and civil vulnerabilities all inform the development of courses of action (COAs) to consolidate gains and deter further conflict. The goal of these COAs are to “allow the regeneration of forces and the re-establishment of a regional security order aligned with U.S. strategic objectives.”43 The civil reconnaissance and engagement conducted by the CRTs combined with the analysis, compilation, and dissemination conducted by the CMOC allows the CAO staff to prepare “the groundwork for transitioning the area of operations from military to civilian control.”44

That preparation includes determining what assets and enablers are required to stabilize a given AO’s government, security apparatus, essential services, and the like. This is a critical output of CRTs’ reconnaissance and CA analysis, because success “in war ultimately depends on the consolidation of political order, which requires control over territory and the hard work of building local governmental institutions.”45 The specifics of a given AO are made clear to the commander and CAO staff through the data provided by CRTs.

MDO doctrine recognizes, “In most cases, the Army will be required to execute tasks to restore order and support partner’s political, economic, and social structure recovery…because civilian agencies lack the capacity or capability to do this in a combat zone.”46 It is at this point that the integration of CA Reserve assets becomes essential to successful MDO. Broadly speaking, “Reserve component formations extend Army presence while allowing the regeneration of expeditionary readiness.”47 Specific to CA Reserves, however, is the retention of CA forces “specifically trained and educated to conduct transitional military authority by applying civilian sector expertise to conduct government operations that are normally the responsibility of civilian authorities.”48 History has shown that there is rarely, if ever, any “significant civilian operational capacity to deploy to a war zone on a large scale.”49 These military government functional specialists, the “preponderance” of whom are maintained within the Army Reserves, provide the Joint Force with the transitional expertise to manage specific issues of governance until such a transition can be conducted.50

Conclusion

CA forces should adopt as their guiding maxim the words of our first Commander-in-Chief, George Washington, that “there is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.”51 Abstract though this adage may seem, MDO doctrine recognizes, “At some point, all the abstract elements (cognitive, virtual, informational, and human) demonstrate their effects physically at a place or in an area through a system or people.”52 The physical and human manifestation of the steady pursuit of truth in the context of LSCO against hybrid, near-peer threats should be found in CRTs. As the tactical arm of CA supporting expeditionary forces in MDO, CRTs enable the commander to visualize and understand the operational environment, thereby facilitating the convergence of assets against decisive points and the achievement of U.S. objectives.

End Notes

1. For more on this topic see my article "Civil Affairs, Winston Churchill, and the Power of Paying Attention," Small Wars Journal (June 2019), https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/civil-affairs-winston-churchill-and-power-paying-attention.

2. Nadia Schadlow, War and the Art of Governance: Consolidating Combat Success into Political Victory (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2017), 21.

3. Ibid., 3.

4. Ibid., 239.

5. Orlando N. Craig, William P. Hurt, Albert W. Oh, and Christopher B. Melendez, "Reconnaissance Found: Redefining Army Special Operations Forces Integration," Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, PB 34-19-2 (April-June 2019): 38.

6. Department of the Army, FM 3-98: Reconnaissance and Security Operations (Washington, DC, 2015), 2-5.

7. Craig et al., 37.

8. Linda K. Chung, Jay Liddick, and Thurman “Scott” Dickerson, "Calibrating Civil Affairs Forces for Lethality in Large Scale Combat Operations," Small Wars Journal (March 2019), accessed July 25, 2019.

9. "Psyop Team Members," accessed August 6, 2019, https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/special-operations/psyop/psyop-team-members.html.

10. Chung, Liddick, and Dickerson.

11. Ibid.

12. Department of Defense, JP 3-10: Joint Security Operations (Washington, DC, 2019), III-27.

13. FM 3-98: Reconnaissance and Security Operations, 3-5.

14. Ibid., 1-12.

15. Department of the Army, Fm 3-90-2: Reconnaissance, Security, and Tactical Enabling Tasks, Volume 2 (Washington, DC, 2013), 1-2.

16. Ibid., 1-1.

17. Chung, Liddick, and Dickerson.

18. Department of the Army, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1: The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028 (2018), C-10.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid., iii.

21. Ibid., v.

22. Ibid., xi.

23. Ibid., ix.

24. Ibid., x.

25. Ibid., 39.

26. Ibid., C-10.

27. Ibid.

28. Chung, Liddick, and Dickerson.

29. U.S. Department of Defense, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge (Washington, DC, 2018), 6.

30. Craig et al., 38.

31. Ibid., 39.

32. U.S. Combined Arms Center, CALL Handbook No. 16-25: Leader’s Guide to ISR - Lessons and Best Practices (Fort Leavenworth, KS: Center for Army Lessons Learned, 2016), 135.

33. Department of the Army, FM 3-57: Civil Affairs Operations (Washington, DC, 2019), 3-16.

34. Ibid., 3-18.

35. FM 3-90-2: Reconnaissance, Security, and Tactical Enabling Tasks, Volume 2, 1-1.

36. Ibid., 1-5.

37. FM 3-57: Civil Affairs Operations, 3-30.

38. See https://www.benning.army.mil/Armor/316thCav/ASA/

39. FM 3-57: Civil Affairs Operations, viii.

40. TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1: The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028, xi.

41. U.S. Combined Arms Center, CALL Newsletter No. 19-05: Lessons for the Warfighter (Fort Levenworth, KS: Center for Army Lessons Learned, 2019), 41.

42. TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1: The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028, xi.

43. Ibid., viii.

44. Department of the Army, FM 6-0: Commander and Staff Organization and Operations (Washingtong, D.C., 2014), 2-14.

45. Schadlow, 1.

46. TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1: The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028, 26.

47. Ibid., 45.

48. FM 3-57: Civil Affairs Operations, 2-9.

49. Schadlow, 230.

50. FM 3-57: Civil Affairs Operations, 2-16.

51. Peter Lillback, George Washington’s Sacred Fire, Kindle ed. (King of Prussia, PA: Providence Forum Press, 2016), Loc. 3480.

52. TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1: The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028, C-2.

About the Author(s)

Captain Andrew Joseph Bibb, U.S. Army, currently serves as a Civil Affairs Team Leader in the 83d Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC. He holds a B.S. in Government: Politics & Policy and an M.A. in Public Policy from Liberty University. Before becoming a Civil Affairs Officer, CPT Bibb served as an Infantryman with the 3rd Battalion (Ranger) 75th Infantry and the 3rd Infantry Division. He has completed combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as operational deployments to Bahrain, Latvia, and Germany. His Small Wars Journal article “Civil Affairs, Winston Churchill, and the Power of Paying Attention” was featured by the US Senate in the Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 131.

Comments

Bill C.

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 11:08am

From our article above:

BEGIN QUOTE

Compounding this issue is the fact that, during Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO), civil considerations are most likely not at the top of the commander’s list of priorities. As a threat focused entity, it is easy for the U.S. military to forget or ignore the myriad of other factors that contribute to success in war. The goal of war, however, is not simply the defeat of the enemy. Dr. Schadlow argues that the goal of war “has always been a political outcome that determines who rules what territory, with what type of institutions.” CA is the only military force tasked, trained, and equipped to directly monitor and influence this outcome.

END QUOTE  

Question:

With President Trump embracing -- as his new "goal of war" --

a.  Not "transformation" of the outlying states and societies of the world more along modern western lines -- as has been the "goal of war" of his predecessors for the past 100 years --  

b.  But "stability" instead -- which requires, as per "traditional" international law, that as few changes as possible be made to the political, economic, social, institutions and value make-up of a state and its societies --  

(Makes perfect sense, from both a "legitimacy" and a "return to stability" point of view?)

Then, based on this such new "goal of war" criteria (a return to stability; which requires that the way of life, the way of governance, the values, the institutions and the norms which were present before the conflict began be immediately restored); based on this such new "goal of war" criteria, are not both : 

a.  The "who rules with what type of institutions" suggestion by Dr. Schadlow above and

b.  The (former) critical role of CA in this process

Are BOTH these not effectively negated?

This, given that -- when such things as Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO) are undertaken now under President Trump's "stability" "goal of war" thesis -- in their aftermath:

a.  A restoration of the -- indigenous -- political, economic, social, institutions, norms and values is what is required and, this,

b.  Best done by local personnel with local knowledge and local expertise -- as to their own, individual, unique and different from our own -- "governance," etc., requirements?

(Thus, in effect, the idea of "consolidating gains" -- and the role of CA in achieving this objective -- these are both gone now, they no longer exist; this, under the Trump "stability" "goal of war" criteria noted above?)

From Page ii (introductory letter) of the Trump National Security Strategy:

"... We will pursue this beautiful vision -- a world of strong, sovereign, and independent nations, each with its own cultures and dreams, thriving side-by-side in prosperity, freedom, and peace -- throughout the upcoming year.  ... "  

From Page 4 (Introduction) of the Trump National Security Strategy:

" ... We are also realistic and understand that the American way of life cannot be imposed on others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of progress. ... "

From the Page 2 (Introduction) of the 2006 paper "A Right to Democracy in International Law: Its Implications for Asia" (Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law Volume 12 | Issue 1 Article 2):

"II. THE TRADITIONAL CONCEPT OF SOVEREIGNTY AND UNDEMOCRATIC CHARACTER OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

A. TRADITIONAL CONCEPT OF SOVEREIGNTY

Under the positivist consent theory, international law is a system of rules which sovereign States accepted or consented to be binding on them through conventional or customary law. From this perspective, international law is traditionally based on the principle of equality of sovereign States, which gives a sovereign State an exclusive right to exercise powers with respect to its territory, citizens and resources. International law, as a law of coordination, thus prohibits any external patronizing or intervention in equal, independent States. This non-intervention principle - a correlative duty to the rights of sovereignty - is enshrined in Article 2(7) of the UN Charter, which states that the Charter gives no competence to the UN, or to the UN Members, to intervene in matters that are essentially under the national jurisdiction of a State. According to Article 2(7) of the UN Charter, States are not authorized to impose democracy by forcible means, since the choice on a constitutional model is clearly a matter which is essentially within the national jurisdiction. Thus, any attempt by democratic States to impose by force a democratic model on so-called "non-democratic" States would be in violation of the principles of sovereign equality and non-intervention.

This is exactly the point that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) made in the "Nicaragua" (Merits) case. In that case, the ICJ considered and then rejected the United States' argument that there was a right of intervention, with or without armed force, in support of "political or moral values" of an internal opposition in another state.  The Court also rejected the finding of the United States Congress that Nicaragua had taken a "significant step towards establishing a totalitarian Communist dictatorship," and went on to hold that the adherence by Nicaragua to a particular form of government "does not constitute a violation of customary international law," because, in the Court's view, there was no right of intervention by a State against another on the ground that the latter had chosen a "particular ideology or political system."

https://digitalcommons.law.ggu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1099&context=annlsurvey

Bottom Line Question -- Based on the Above:

With Trump formally (in his NSS no less !!!) moving out smartly in the direction of the "traditional concept of sovereignty" in international law (see my quoted items above), how does this "sea change" effect such things as Nadia Schadlow's contention that:

a.  "The goal of war has always been a political outcome that determines who rules what territory with what type of institutions?" And her observation that: 

b.  "CA is the only military force tasked, trained, and equipped to directly monitor and influence this outcome?" 

From my, admitted, very limited perspective, I would say that Trump's embrace of "the traditional concept of sovereignty:"

a.  Disagrees with and effectively negates Schadlow's ("impose our will?") contention above and thus

b.  Effectively (if inadvertently) may send CA to the "ash heap of history?"

(This latter such result, after all, being consistent with Trump's determination to send our 70 + year project -- of transforming the outlying states and societies of the world (in both peace and in war) more along modern western lines -- in this exact same "ash heap of history" direction?)

Personal attention is not my goal -- attention to the issues -- and to an intellectual debate as to same -- this is the basis of my effort.

As to the referencing of other of my comments, this is done so that I do not have to make my comment here too long. Within my other comments, there are important arguments, and important links, that bear directly on the matters that we are discussing here.    

For example, and in contradiction to your "CA operations are inherently war crimes" suggestion above (this is really a question of the lawfulness of U.S. foreign policy operations, to which CA is only a servant. Yes?), I provide, from Sir Adam Roberts and re: his "Transformative Military Occupations: Applying the Laws of War and Human Rights," a document which suggests, also, that this (U.S. foreign policy operations) MAY NOT be unlawful.  (Read the document?)

What is most important to note, however, is that -- FOR SOME REASON -- U.S./Western foreign policy, after 70 or so years of moving out smartly in the "transformative" direction, now seems to have done a 180 degree about face; herein, seeming to now be moving hard in the (opposite) direction of respecting the diversity, self-determination and sovereignty principles of international law. 

"Exactly How Many Times Did Trump Talk About Sovereignty?  UN speech analysis shows concept appeared a staggering 21 times."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-22/exactly-how-many-times-did-trump-talk-about-sovereignty

As to this such amazing phenomenon, the bottom line question, in my mind, is:

a.  How does this such "sea-change,"

b.  Effect such things as civil affairs?

(Obviously, it would seem to limit the times that it would be utilized -- in both peace and in war -- and likewise would seem to limit what civil affairs could do -- if indeed it is so deployed?)

Does this help?

Mr.SmithGoesTo…

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 1:08pm

Bill C.  We get it.  You like attention.  

 

Please direct your “CA operations are inherently war crimes” stuff elsewhere.  You are wrong.  Also, your practice of linking one of your comments to another comment authored by you in another SWJ article is self-promotional and does not advance intellectual debate.

Mr.SmithGoesTo…

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 1:08pm

Bill C.  We get it.  You like attention.  

 

Please direct your “CA operations are inherently war crimes” stuff elsewhere.  You are wrong.  Also, your practice of linking one of your comments to another comment authored by you in another SWJ article is self-promotional and does not advance intellectual debate.

Bill C.

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 11:00am

From our article above:

BEGIN QUOTE

Compounding this issue is the fact that, during Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO), civil considerations are most likely not at the top of the commander’s list of priorities. As a threat focused entity, it is easy for the U.S. military to forget or ignore the myriad of other factors that contribute to success in war. The goal of war, however, is not simply the defeat of the enemy. Dr. Schadlow argues that the goal of war “has always been a political outcome that determines who rules what territory, with what type of institutions.” CA is the only military force tasked, trained, and equipped to directly monitor and influence this outcome.

END QUOTE  

As I note in my comments in the recent Small Wars Journal threads linked at the end of my comment here, when a revolutionary great power such as the United States operates in the world -- and, therein, seeks to "impose its will" as per Clausewitz -- then this generally translates into:

a.  The revolutionary great power, for example, the U.S. -- IN BOTH PEACE AND IN WAR -- working to transform the outlying states and societies of the world more along its own -- often grossly alien and profane to others -- political, economic, social and value lines; this,

b.  In violation of international law. 

BEGIN QUOTE

Within the existing framework of international law, is it legitimate for an occupying power, in the name of creating the conditions for a more democratic and peaceful state, to introduce fundamental changes in the constitutional, social, economic, and legal order within an occupied territory? ...

These questions have arisen in various conflicts and occupations since 1945 -- including the tragic situation in Iraq since the United States–led invasion of March–April 2003. They have arisen because of the cautious, even restrictive assumption in the laws of war (also called international humanitarian law or, traditionally, jus in bello) that occupying powers should respect the existing laws and economic arrangements within the occupied territory, and should therefore, by implication, make as few changes as possible.

END QUOTE

https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/access/content/user/1044/ajil_-_roberts_on_tr…

Of late, the U.S. has realized that:

a.  While such an approach may have been necessary and indeed unavoidable during the Old Cold War; wherein, the enemy, also, was a revolutionary great power bent on transforming the world, 

b.  Today, with no such revolutionary great power rival before us, our efforts to "impose our will" -- in such a revolutionary and "transformative" manner -- this had lead directly to the innumerable "endless wars" that the Treaty of Westphalia sought to prevent.   

Understanding this, the U.S./the West has recently done a 180 degree about-face with regard to its foreign policy; herein, stating that we will, now and in the future, comply more with the "thou shalt not transform" requirements of international law.

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May:

“It is in our interests – those of Britain and America together – to stand strong together to defend our values, our interests and the very ideas in which we believe,” she said.

"This cannot mean a return to the failed policies of the past. The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/theresa-may-donald-trump-us-uk-no-longer-foreign-intervention-iraq-afghanistan-a7548551.html

Present U.S. President Donald Trump:

"We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.”

“Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.”

https://qz.com/1081499/unga-2017-trump-mentioned-sovereignty-21-times-in-a-speech-heralding-a-new-american-view-of-the-world/

The problem (or the purpose, depending on how you look at it) with this such "hands off"/"respect the diversity, self-determination and sovereignty requirements of international law" approach, however, is that it:

a.  Severely limits WHERE the U.S./the West can intervene,  

b.  Severely limits HOW the U.S./the West can intervene and

b.  Severely limits WHAT the U.S./the West can do once it has intervened. 

Bottom Line Thought -- Based on the Above:

Now let us return to the quoted item related to Nadia Schadlow -- found at the beginning of my comment here:

BEGIN QUOTE

Dr. Schadlow argues that the goal of war “has always been a political outcome that determines who rules what territory, with what type of institutions." CA is the only military force tasked, trained, and equipped to directly monitor and influence this outcome.

END QUOTE

If, after the Treaty of Westphalia, in both peace and in war, we must (a) "respect the existing laws and economic arrangements" of a state and its societies and, therefore, must (b) "make as few changes as possible;"

Then, within this exact such construct -- which we now seem willing to comply with --  Dr. Schadlow's thoughts, immediately above, these would seem to be dead wrong.  This, given that (a) "what type of institutions;" this, as per international law, must be (b) those status quo institutions which were present when we conquered these people. 

(Civil affairs, thus, and as per this exact such "hands-off" understanding, having much less utility; this, given that the use of indigenous personnel, professionals and experts; THESE, it would seem, would better serve and service our, shall we say, "restore basic services only" pre, during and post-conflict needs?)

Here are the links to recent civil affairs-related articles that I promised you at the top of my comment here: 

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/civil-affairs-20-breaking-circular-logic

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/beyond-tacit-approval-embracing-special-operations-civil-affairs-support-intelligence