Small Wars Journal

civil affairs

Searching for Dry-Land: The Challenges of Maritime Civil Affairs Activities and a Framework for Future Success

This paper will begin by establishing definitions for key terms used throughout it; with a subject matter steeped in both Army and Navy terminology, it is critical to ensure shared understanding. Next, we will discuss first-hand experience with the challenges of maritime CAA, through several examples that have been conducted by A/83d. Following this review, we will discuss a proposed role for CA forces conducting CAA in a maritime environment. Using existing doctrine and academic research as a foundation, our analysis seeks to provide meaningful recommendations on how CA can support maritime forces through targeted CAA in both littoral and maritime environments. Lastly, we will review our analysis and summarize recommendations for the force. This paper is not intended to demand what maritime CAA should or shouldn’t be. Instead, we seek to offer ideas of what maritime CAA could be and hope to generate further discussion on a topic that is increasingly relevant.

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The 2019 Marine Corps Civil Affairs Concept: An Ambitious Step Toward Improved Integration

For the last hundred years, where diplomacy has failed and warfare has resulted, CA has repeatedly been revitalized and integrated with military operations during wartime. However, on the present-day battlefield, where open conflict is decreasing but “gray zone” activities are increasing, CA personnel should be utilized to undermine U.S. competitors’ attempts to build military, diplomatic, economic, and informational advantages in regions of U.S. interest.

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True Civil Affairs Integration: From Three Tribes to One

The Army published its Army Total Force Policy in 2012 to define steps and guidance to integrate all components to meet DoD’s goal for a total force. U.S. Army Civil Affairs should take the NCFA recommendations and the lessons learned by other services and from those Army units participating in the AUPP to develop a Civil Affairs Total Force Policy.

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Civil Reconnaissance Teams: The Expeditionary Arm of Civil Affairs Forces

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.

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Civil Affairs 2.0: Breaking the Circular Logic

Army Civil Affairs (CA) faces an existential conundrum. The Army’s renewed focus on peer competition and lethality in Large Scale Combat Operations challenges how the branch defines itself and how the Army perceives its role. The inability of CA to define itself in relation to the Army’s operating concepts and doctrine is an enduring problem.

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Beyond Tacit Approval: Embracing Special Operations Civil Affairs Support to the Intelligence Information Report

When Special Forces train foreign partners, I can know how many bullets exited a rifle and how many foreign partners eventually qualified on the weapons range. I’m just not sure I can see what your Civil Affairs Teams accomplished during their deployment. What can you show me?

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Civil Affairs, Winston Churchill, and the Power of Paying Attention

This paper aims to show the value of CA to both the statesman and general as they are understood by Winston Churchill in Dr. Larry P. Arnn’s scholarly work Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government. Although Churchill uses the term “general” to refer to commanders, CA’s value is by no means limited to flag officers. The CA team, the lowest-echelon CA element, is a battalion-level asset and can inform tactical decisions as well as operational and strategic ones. Similarly, CA support to statesmen is not limited to elected officials, as fostering partnerships within and supporting the various branches of government fall directly within the purview of Civil Affairs.

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Civil Affairs: The U.S. Army’s Civil Engagement Force

The early integration of civil affairs forces at all echelons is necessary to determine what resources are available to support a commander’s civil-military operations (CMO). Enabling the sharing of information and resources with all partners contributes to a position of relative advantage during all phases of competition, armed conflict, and the return to competition.

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Reducing the Dependency on USSOF: The Kosovo CACOY Example

As evidenced from the KSF CACOY example, It is critical that USSOF eventually relinquishes command and control of institution building and allows the A/PN unit to succeed, or even fail, on its own. Had CMSE XKS not enforced the importance of KSF officers conducting their own execution and problem solving, they would continue to rely on the US support.

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Calibrating Civil Affairs Forces for Human Geography

A fundamental aspect to understanding human geography, insofar as it relates to the entirety of the academic field of geography, is gaining a grasp on the sheer breadth of it. The subdisciplines of geography can be bifurcated between the physical and the social sciences. “When geography concentrates on the distribution of physical features, such as climate, soil, and vegetation, it is a physical science. When it studies cultural features, such as language, industries, and cities, geography is a social science”.

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