Civil Affairs Issue Papers, Volume 8: Foreword

Civil Affairs Issue Papers, Volume 8: Foreword

March 17, 2022

This Foreword is part of the Civil Affairs Issue Papers, Volume 8: Building a Global Civil-Military Network

The Civil Affairs Association’s annual Symposium, held this past year on 8–10 November 2021, was centered around the theme of Building a Global Civil-Military Network. As we saw in 2020, the virtual format of the event, necessitated by the pandemic, was ultimately conducive to greater participation and increased input across the board when compared to our previously held in-person events. 

Our expanded, multicomponent, interservice, interallied and interorganizational platform is more critical than ever in an era of gray-zone competition among great powers. The Association’s platforms foster intellectual capitalization and intellectual readiness in the Army, the joint force and the nation as they collectively maintain and further develop their foremost capability of “winning without fighting.”

Our collaborative process for CA professional and force development includes Symposium workshops representative of the critical constituencies of the CA Corps—the Army and Marine Corps CA proponents; the major Army command that is home to CA as well as psychological operations (PSYOP) and information operations (IO) forces; and the Army and Marine NCOs and junior leaders who are among the joint force’s consummate human networkers. The insights and inputs especially of our seasoned young leaders are valuable not just to determining the future of CA but also to an Army, joint force and nation looking to learn from its losses in Iraq and Afghanistan and so to become more ready and effective for great-power competition with such countries as China and Russia.

The Civil Affairs Issue Papers is the Association’s professional development capstone; it serves to deepen and broaden formal institutional processes for CA force development along the lines of policy, doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership and education, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF-P).

The Symposium and Roundtable drive an ongoing, annual thematic discussion on the future of CA; together, they are now on their ninth year of advancing a more strategic and comprehensive understanding of CA.  They also help to foster a learning organization that goes beyond military command structures and the CA Corps to include allies in counterpart civil-military organizations, such as the NATO Civil-Military Cooperation Center of Excellence (CCoE) and interorganizational partners. In other words: the Association has long been helping the CA Corps to build a global civil-military network.

Our rich discussions during our 2021 event involved nearly 500 participants over the three days. Their observations and findings include consideration of recent operations, such as Operation Allies Welcome and Operation Allies Refuge, both of which once again demonstrated the enduring value of how the human capital of a robust civil-military network brings those operations together quickly and effectively. Such a network helps to gain and maintain the access and influence that: defines the positional advantage in strategic competition; provides a wide and continuous feedback to enable more effective unified action; and aids superior political-civil-military executive decisionmaking. 

Our keynote speaker, Major General Darrell J. Guthrie, Commanding General, 88th Readiness Division and former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), also pointed out how building civil-military networks generates important civil knowledge that must be effectively shared and integrated widely in complex operations. The Association thanks him for his brilliant presentation in which he related his oversight of Operation Allies Welcome to this year’s theme.

More than anything else, he and many others noted that the consistent presence of CA and other information-related forces helps senior political and military leaders to gain and maintain situational awareness and understanding. These forces are found at theater, joint and service commands, at interagency offices such as at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. State Department’s Global Engagement Center, as well as among country teams at U.S. embassies.

CA’s multilevel civil reconnaissance and civil engagement in forward areas also provide the civil knowledge and regional and cultural competencies needed for long-term success across the entire competition continuum. Opportunities for CA to contribute abound—by, with and through country teams, Security Force Assistance Brigades, National Guard state partners, Foreign Area Officers, allies, commercial enterprises, peacebuilders and humanitarians, etc. Such opportunities also exist with United Nations (UN) field missions, where CA professionals can serve as civil-military staff members and UN military observers.

As this year’s Issue Papers have also observed, at institutional as well as operational levels, “persistent engagement” among CA and its many interagency, interorganizational, multinational and private sector partners is critical to building a readily leverageable global civil-military network. This is where the Civil Affairs Association leads the way.

The Association’s role in convening the extended CA Corps—through the Symposium and Roundtable, Civil Affairs Issue Papers, Eunomia Journal and One CA Podcasts—has become particularly valuable over these past few years of rapid change in our shared enterprise. While these platforms help mainstream CA into the larger discussions of the Army, the Marine Corps, the joint force and national security issues, they also help improve CA professional analytical and writing skills, effectively moving forward an enterprise of civil-military enterprises—of great benefit to the Army and Marine Corps as well as the joint force, the nation and our allies.

Civil Affairs Association events and platforms provide an open, collegial space for major civil-military commands and centers of excellence to gather for institutional flank coordination in policy, doctrinal, force and professional development, not to mention the sharing of best practices. These commands are: the CA Proponent at the U.S. Army John. F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School (USAJFKSWCS), the U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), or USACAPOC(A), the CCoE and even the UN Office of Military Affairs.

Another example of the opportunities that the Association provides is their sponsoring of online CA NCO professional development sessions to help the CA Corps to socialize the complex sets of knowledge and information from the latest Field Manual 3-57 Civil Affairs Operations doctrine among the largest possible number of active and reserve NCOs. This is a need that the Association was able to identify through the relevant Symposium workshop.

Through its growing array of initiatives, the Association contributes to the building of a global civil-military network through its organizational partners, in addition to the Association of the United States Army—whose partnership in the production of this eighth volume of the Civil Affairs Issue Papers is most appreciated. The Association also thanks the CCoE, the Reserve Officer Association, the Foreign Area Officers Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and the Alliance for Peacebuilding for their collaboration. This coming year, we are looking to formalize relationships with other strategic influencers on shared matters of foreign and defense policy. Stay tuned for the announcements.

To help the CA Corps educate Army, Marine and joint commanders, as well as interagency and interorganizational leadership and policymakers on its increasing values-added, the Association is reorganizing its efforts to engage these key leaders. These include members of Congress, institutional leaders and commercial partners—who comprise the industrial base for CA that the Association is helping to build—and the public and media at large.

Thanks go foremost to the Association of the United States Army in helping us to make this publication possible. Their partnership has been invaluable. Special thanks go to Mrs. Nzinga A. Curry, AUSA’s Director of Education & Programs, and to Ellen Toner and her editorial team for their diligence and cooperation.

Additional thanks go to our Issue Papers Committee: Chairman, Brigadier General Bruce B. Bingham, USA, Ret.; Colonel Christopher Holshek, USA, Ret., (who edits each volume); Colonel Caroline Pogge, USA; Major General Mike Kuehr, USA, Ret.; Colonel Leonard J. DeFrancisci, USMC, Ret.; and Colonel Larry Rubini, USA, Ret.—as well as the paper authors themselves.

Our website continues to improve, while our social media outlets have expanded beyond Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn, Spotify and Sticher. More changes are to come this year. Thanks go to Association Vice President Colonel Arnel David, USA, and his team for their hard work.

We are grateful to Third Order Effects, Civil Solutions International, Valka Mir Human Security, the Patriot Fund and our newest sponsor, Conducttr, for their sponsorship. We look forward to having them and more sponsors join us in the future.

The Association is also grateful to USAJFKSWCS, the Army Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI), the State and Defense Departments, the U.S. Agency for International Development, various functional and regional commands and to the CCoE, with whom we are advancing our common civil-military enterprise on both sides of the Atlantic.

Special thanks go to Association Vice Presidents Colonel Christopher Holshek, USA, Ret., Colonel Arnel David, USA, Major General Daniel Ammerman, USA, Ret., and Brigadier General Christopher Stockel, USA, Ret., for putting together a great Symposium program—available online on the Eunomia Journal YouTube channel.

Finally, our thanks go out to the many members and supporters of the Association who contribute quietly to our worldwide civil-military enterprise—to educate, advocate and motivate. 

We look forward to seeing you at the online Civil Affairs Roundtable on 5 April. To learn more and to join our Association, visit

“Secure the Victory!”

Joseph P. Kirlin III
Colonel, USA, Ret., Civil Affairs
President, The Civil Affairs Association

Continue reading Civil Affairs Issue Papers, Volume 8:

by Colonel Joseph P. Kirlin III, USA, Ret.

2021 Civil Affairs Symposium Report
by Colonel Christopher Holshek, USA, Ret.

Civil Affairs and Great-Power Competition: Civil-Military Networking in the Gray Zone
by Sergeant First Class Nicholas Kempenich, Jr., USA

Innovation as a Weapon System: Cultivating Global Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Partnerships
by Major Giancarlo Newsome, USA, Colonel Bradford Hughes, USA, & Lieutenant Colonel Tyson Voelkel, USA

Maximum Support, Flexible Footprint: Civilian Applied Research Laboratories to Support the 38G Program
by Dr. Hayden Bassett & Lieutenant Kate Harrell, USNR

Individualism versus Collectivism: Civil Affairs and the Clash of National Strategic Cultures
by Colonel Marco A. Bongioanni, USA

Back to Basics: Civil Affairs in a Global Civil-Military Network
by Major Jim Munene, USA, & Staff Sergeant Courtney Mulhern, USA