The evolution of the Civil Affairs force
Ferry, John V.
Romero, Benny H.
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Beginning with the United States (U.S.)Mexican War in 1846 and continuing to the most recent combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, United States military history has repeatedly shown the importance of civil affairs operations: that is, shaping the civil component of the operational environment. During this span, civil affairs operations have evolved from operations conducted only by combat units to those conducted by a dedicated Civil Affairs force. The demand for Civil Affairs has increased significantly since September 11, 2001, and in response to that demand, the Army has attempted to grow the Civil Affairs force in both the active and reserve components. The rapid growth in demand for Civil Affairs has led to the creation of a Civil Affairs force composed of one active-duty Civil Affairs special-operations brigade, one active-duty Civil Affairs brigade for conventional forces, and nine reserve civil affairs brigades. The current Civil Affairs force structure is subordinate to three commands: the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, U.S. Forces Command, and the U.S. Army Reserve Command. This thesis analyzes the current Civil Affairs force structure within the active and reserve components by using three metrics: training efficiency, organizational efficiency, and operational efficiency. It addresses the question of whether the current Civil Affairs structure reflects the most efficient design, and if not, what changes are needed to improve efficiency.
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