War College Publishes Issue Papers on “Civil Affairs: A Force for Consolidating Gains”

Updated: Feb 8


Photo: U.S. Army Corporal Shawn Bergers, assigned to the 407th Civil Affairs (CA) Battalion, attached to the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, teaches a Civil-Military (CIMIC) course to soldiers from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) as part of a Civil Affairs Tactical Company Course held at Camp Singo, Uganda, Feb. 08, 2018. CJTF-HOA service members are forward deployed to Camp Singo to advise and assist the UPDF in preparing Ugandan Battle Group 25 for an upcoming deployment in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Allyson L. Manners)

The U.S. Army War College has published the fourth volume of the annual discussion of the Civil Affairs Regiment on the future of Civil Affairs. The 2017-18 Civil Affairs Issue Papers on “Civil Affairs: A Force for Consolidating Gains” are available for download from the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute and Civil Affairs Association websites.

The issue of the role of Civil Affairs in the consolidation of military gains into political and civil outcomes – across all phases and in particular the human domain – was the main focus of the five papers written by Civil Affairs practitioners selected for publication for consideration of policymakers, force leaders, and other stakeholders in the nation’s premier national strategic capability to end and, increasingly, prevent wars through civil-military transition management.

CA’s overall value, however, goes beyond the consolidation of political-military gains for post-conflict stability operations. CA is the force of choice for consolidating gains in a way that helps the larger Joint Force and Army (as the Service lead for peace & stability operations) take on the political-military challenges identified by national strategic leadership across the full range of operations.

Maj. Gen. Kurt L. Sonntag, Commander of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School/Special Operations Center of Excellence and 2017 Symposium keynote speaker, noted how timely this event was given how Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster (the 2015 Symposium keynote speaker) see the increased need to consolidate military and security gains into political and civil outcomes across the board. This is especially true given the growth of “stabilization” as a unifying concept for consolidation across civil-military and interagency lines – a construct at home in the (just-released) U.S. Government’s Stabilization Assistance Review.“

The problems we face are much too complex for one organization to take on,” Sonntag concluded in his 2017 Civil Affairs Symposium key note address.

Papers copies of the Civil Affairs Issue Papers will be available only at the Civil Affairs Roundtable at the National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C. on April 17th. For more on the Roundtable, click here.


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