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Civil Affairs Issue Papers, Vol. 2: “Civil Affairs: A Force for Engagement and Conflict Prevention”

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

The Civil Affairs Association and U.S. Army Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute, along with the U.S. Marine Corps Training Command and the Foreign Area Officer Association, have just published the electronic version of this year’s Civil Affairs Issue Papers, downloadable from the PKSOI website page.

The outcome of last November’s Symposium on "Civil Affairs: A Force for Engagement and Conflict Prevention," this year’s papers take an intensive and thorough look at the role of Civil Affairs (CA), as a national strategic conflict management capability, in engaging partners, shaping and influencing the environment, consolidating gains, and contributing to conflict analysis – before and not just during and after full-scale conflict. As such, CA is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive support to commanders at all levels in identifying the sources, distribution, and use of political and informal power in order to mitigate the drivers of conflict and instability and not just threats.

Because of its rare capability and perspective in the Joint Force, CA “ … must help the broader Army think, learn, analyze, and implement solutions to the Army’s Warfighting Challenges that help the Army and the Joint Force consolidate gains and achieve sustainable outcomes in future conflict” stressed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Deputy Commanding General of Futures for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, who was the keynote speaker at the Symposium. Marine Corps Brigadier General Austin Renforth, Commanding General Training Command, echoed McMaster’s comments and further challenged CA professionals to exhibit disruptive thinking and articulate their value to commanders.

Including an executive summary and panel report, this second volume of Issue Papers features five papers chosen from two dozen submitted for publication. These include:

 "Renewed Relevance: CA Develop Human Networks for Effective Engagement," by Maj. Arnel P. David

 "From Green to Blue: U.S. Army Civil Affairs and International Police Engagement," by Capt. Rob Kobold

 "Civil Engagement as a Tool for Conflict Prevention: A Case Study," by Capt. Tammy Sloulin and Lt. Col. Steve Lewis

 "The Role of Civil Affairs in Counter-Unconventional Warfare," by Maj. Shafi Saiduddin

 "Civil Affairs Forces, U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard, and State Partnership Program: Is There Room for Engagement?" by Maj. David E. Leiva and Maj. John Nonnemaker

“The annual cycle of a thematically linked Symposium, Issue Papers, and Roundtable, provides a platform for the most operationally experienced community of CA practitioners since World War II to have more direct and visible input on the discussion of the future of Civil Affairs – at the command and policy levels, as well as capture their insights and lessons for future posterity and research,” noted Association President retired Army Colonel Joe Kirlin. “The objective of employing this crowdsourcing method is to give young leaders and the upcoming generation, something not previously done in a systemic way, an opportunity to have a voice in the future of a force in which they have arguably the greatest interest. So far, it’s been paying off very well.”

This effort was co-edited by retired Army Colonel and published author, Chris Holshek (Travels With Harley) and Marine Colonel John Church, commanding officer of 3D CAG, professor at Immaculata University, and inbound president of Valley Forge Military Academy and College. Paper copies will be available at the Civil Affairs Roundtable at the National Defense University in Washington, DC from 4-5 April – preceding PKSOI’s Peace & Stability Operations Training and Education Workshop in Bethesda, MD from 6-8 April. For more info on the upcoming CA Roundtable and Workshop click here.

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