Small Wars Journal

civil affairs

Making the Most of Spontaneous Civil Engagement: An Introduction to the Engaged Awareness Cycle

Mon, 03/02/2020 - 9:47am
"The U.S. Army lacks sufficient doctrine and training on how conventional forces should productively engage with, or talk to, local populations across the range of military operations...The result is units that are unable to effectively interact in the human domain and unable to understand and influence their area of operations."

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A Cause of and Solution to Extremism: A Case for Civil Military Operation (CMO) Capacity Building in African Partner Forces

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 8:36am
As CA forces begin to instruct CMO to African partner forces the curriculum must be semi standardized in order to ensure both unity of effort and interoperability. AFRICOM, SOCAF, USARAF, and Marine Forces Africa (MARFORAF) must ensure that they coordinate with each other as well as centers of instruction such as USAJFKSWCS to create a standard set of POIs that achieves the desired effect of an African partner force that is able to win the human domain.

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Civil Affairs Leads Integration to Generate Effects-Based Activities in the Operational Environment

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 9:29am
The analysis of CAO by trained CA forces drive multiple processes, including operations and targeting processes, and enabling supported commanders and decision makers to apply resources and make decisions. CA drives the operations and targeting processes by executing its core competencies alongside indigenous partners to increase the understanding of networks within the operational environment (OE), particularly those within the civil component.

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

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 4:45am
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 SWJED Mon, 10/14/2019 - 12:34am
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.

True Civil Affairs Integration: From Three Tribes to One

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 12:31am
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 SWJED Thu, 10/03/2019 - 12:32am
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.

Civil Affairs 2.0: Breaking the Circular Logic

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 1:35am
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

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 1:14am
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

Sun, 06/16/2019 - 3:44am
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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