"Integrating Civil Affairs"
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Civil affairs integration has been a gnawing issue since the annual Civil Affairs Issue Papers began. As noted in last year’s papers and Roundtable Report, CA is the force of choice for civil-military integration in Defense Support to Stabilization (DSS) and a more expansive, people-centric version of irregular warfare seeking greater access and influence within geographic regions in competition with other national powers and transnational networks and actors. While the Regiment must optimize for DSS at Joint, interagency, and multinational levels, it must also modernize to meet changing Army and Marine requirements for large-scale combat operations and hybrid warfare, as explained in a Small Wars Journal article this past spring. Moreover, civil affairs must learn to be more anticipatory, as retired Marine General Anthony Zinni urged at the Roundtable. As others coined at that meeting: “if you’re just adapting, then you’re already dead.” The understanding that adaptability alone is insufficient in a strategic paradigm of competition for access and influence evokes a cultural change in the entire Regiment.
In order for civil affairs to become better at Army and Joint force integration across multiple domains and the human geography, it must first better integrate itself – then with those it works for, by, with, and through. USACAPOC(A)’s unique potential to fuse military influence capabilities is still in fallow while even the newest CA doctrine continues to overlook CA-PSYOP-IO integration let alone reserve/active and SOF/conventional integration – or what models best enable CA command support of regional and joint task force commands. Deliberate, steady-state planning and training relationships there and with interagency, inter-allied, multilateral, private sector, and peacebuilding organizations remain touch-and-go. At strategic, operational, and tactical headquarters, as reported, there is insufficient organic CA/CMO capacity for inter-organizational integration and scant dedicated CA staff to plan, coordinate, and execute stabilization and irregular warfare support.
Given past findings, current assumptions, and a new suite of strategic and policy references, how can the Regiment and its partners best meet these challenges, in order to enhance civil-military integration and force inter-operability, make national stabilization capabilities more proactive than reactive, and enhance U.S., allied, and partner access and influence? What Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership & Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) changes should be made, within and beyond current capacities?
To address these questions, the Civil Affairs Association and its partners invite civil-military professionals to send an originally written Issue Paper (10 pages and one of endnotes, Cambria 12, 1.5-line spacing, and short author bios). Papers should have an issue summary, analysis of facts and assumptions, conclusions (strategic, policy, and force development implications), and at least some DOTMLPF-P recommendations. They may reference documents cited in recent papers, reports, and articles or others in the new Research Library.
The top five papers will appear in the 2019-20 Civil Affairs Issue Papers, and authors will present them at the CA Symposium in Tampa, FL, 18-20 October, for cash awards per paper of: 1st prize, $1,000; 2nd prize, $500; and 3rd prize, $250. Selection is based on: quality of response to the paper call; relevance and originality; discussion clarity and sourcing of argument; and feasibility of recommendations. Papers prepared jointly by civilian and military professionals are most welcome. The submission deadline is Friday, 30 August 2019. Send papers and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.