Friends with benefits: optimizing civil affairs for future engagements
Daniels, Clay E.
Foster, David E.
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In the wake of American involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is important to reevaluate Civil Affairs, (CA) including the education and training of its personnel for future missions and conflicts. What role can CA play as an influencing force to mitigate conflict in phase 0 shaping operations? Can CA have a greater role at the operational and strategic levels? More importantly, does the force have the right training and education to meet these future challenges? This capstone argues that the notion of a solely post-conflict reconstruction mission of CA is outdated and needs to be adapted to meet modern, shaping requirements. Specifically, 1) CA is better suited to acting as an influencing force, 2) an educated, experienced, and credentialed force is necessary to maximize effectiveness and influence, and 3) a new career path for CA officers is required to maximize the influence and skills of CA’s most talented officers. To reach these goals, this capstone charts a course for CA to break out of the tactical realm and creates a path that will link CA knowledge and expertise to policy, strategy, and operations.
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