The Requirement for a Civil Affairs Department
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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In January 1963. Maj Gen Victor H. Krulak wrote about problems relating to the balance of responsibility and authority among military and civilian organizations during the war in Vietnam. He stated that This is a novel problem for which the United States is only now becoming organized. However, recent experiences in Iraq show a different, disappointing, view. Military and civilian organizations still struggle to balance responsibility and authority during Phase IV, post-combat operations. The U.S. needs the intervention of a third party to achieve the desired coordination and to balance authority and integrate capabilities. This agency can take the Goldwater Nichols Act one step further and force all involved government agencies to work together. A good example is the Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support CORDS program used in Vietnam. CORDS used Provincial Senior Advisers and fully integrated military and civilian agencies in each province of Vietnam. In current and future military operations troubled relationships will be avoided by establishing a Civil Affairs Department CAD to reduce friction, integrate capabilities, and maintain focus. Military forces have to conduct tasks they have been training for, such as providing security. Rebuilding governments and providing essential services need to be done by civilian experts. To do this effectively, all involved agencies need to break down stovepipes and train as they fight. Geographic combatant CAD commands can be transformed into truly interagency organizations under civilian leadership and be prepared to conduct the full spectrum of operations using all elements of national power within their assigned region.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare