Civil Affairs: A Force for Influence in Competition

Updated: May 25



2020-21 CivilAffairs Call for Issue Papers


“Civil Affairs: A Force for Influence in Competition”


Chief among last year’s conclusions was that civil affairs can find better integration as a force for influence, collaboration, and competition for convergent threats and challenges for multi-domain and information operations (MDO/IO) – now “Joint All-Domain Operations” (JADO).


As the Nation’s “warrior-diplomats,” the CA Corps must modernize mission capacities especially for gray-zone competition operations and foster a learning organization within and beyond military command structures. It must reinforce supported command understanding of JADO-relevant CA core competencies and capabilities at tactical and operational levels. It must seize opportunities to be a greater force for influence through national strategic initiatives like the Stabilization Assistance Review and the Global Engagement Center. And it must help build an industrial base in applied social sciences and related technologies.


Much is already afoot. For this fall’s CA Force Modernization Assessment, the Proponent briefed at the Roundtable it has approval to develop pathways for accession branching and direct commissioning of Reserve CA. The U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) has launched its “Harnessing Collective Influence” strategy to integrate CA/PSYOP/IO and grow functional specialist and other human capital in partnership with the private sector and NGOs. Meanwhile, Marine CA is fully integrated in Marine Air-Ground Task Force Information Groups for Operations in the Information Environment. Their model of CA in anti-access/area denial could also be instructive for the Army.


The CA Corps, however, must do all these things quickly. As USACAPOC(A) Commanding General MG Darrell Guthrie warned, “we must become an adaptable, agile learning organization or we will be replaced by one that is.”


How should the extended CA Corps go forward, in collaboration with its JIM partners? Do current initiatives help Army and Marine CA be a force for influence and competition in convergent JADO? Are the changes underway going far and fast enough? Is it finally time for sea changes such as CA as an Army career management field or permanent CA staff at JCS and Army HQ? What other Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership & Education, Personnel, Facilities, and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) changes should take place, within and beyond current capacities? How should all these be implemented and prioritized?


To address these questions, the Civil Affairs Association and its partners invite civil-military professionals to send originally written issue papers in accordance with the Civil Affairs Issue Paper Guidelines. The submission deadline is Friday, 28 August 2020.


For more information, click on the link below:


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