It is Time for Civil Affairs to Lead Special Operations in Northwest Africa
By Chris Liggett
This article highlights Special Operations Civil Affairs’ (SOF CA) unique ability to support the U.S. Military’s governance mission in Northwest Africa and to claim the potential for a Civil Affairs-commanded Task Force and Company Headquarters in the region. While Civil Affairs (CA) units currently serve a supporting role within Northwest Africa’s Special Operations Task Force (SOTF-NWA) and Advanced Operations Base (AOB Sahel)–the Army’s only company-level command in the region–this discussion asserts that the 91st Civil Affairs Battalion should participate in the command rotation with 3rd and 19th Special Forces Groups. With governance as their primary operational focus and with extensive, uninterrupted presence on the continent, the 91st Battalion (in command) would better address the U.S. Military’s mission in Northwest Africa and further integrate Special Forces, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations soldiers into effective Cross-Functional Teams.
This is a recommendation to the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), 1st Special Forces Command (1st SFC), and Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAF) to consider hiring the 91st CA BN as a command element in Northwest Africa. It is also an appeal to the Department of State to request such a command.