Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Marine Corps Gazette August 2011

The past 10 years of war have seen a resurrection of dormant skills�those associated with past nonkinetic techniques of pacification, military operations other than war, operations other than war, and other now defunct terms. Commanders at all levels are now tasked with executing initiatives designed to "win the peace" and ensure both economic development and governance in areas where their units have bled. The abilities required to achieve success in civil-military operations (CMO) are typically counterintuitive to the skills valued by Marines. In situations where we seek to enable local government officials and security forces, the valued ethos of initiative, action, and persistence can sometimes have a detrimental effect on long-term stability and operational mission accomplishment. Additionally, enablers that support battlespace owners as they seek to achieve these lasting objectives are difficult to employ because of their counterintuitive missions and capabilities. This article presents suggestions for employment of civil affairs (CA) forces and illuminates CMO actions that have proved successful or unsuccessful during the course of 2010 in Helmand Province. CA MOS training sets a foundation of knowledge in governance and development as it relates to stabilization and counterinsurgency (COIN), as well as other thematic areas for which CA is responsible. Prior to deployment CA personnel receive additional training specific to governance and agricultural development, the latter usually coordinated through local land-grant universities. However, no amount of training is adequate if CA elements are improperly utilized while deployed. The following 10 commandments provide parameters to enable the best results from CA employment.