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Print Print Within the civil affairs community, pundits invariably propose the same two solutions to every problem with the Army Reserve civil affairs force: The pundits, however, have a shortsighted perspective. I have a pretty good understanding of the problems confronting the civil affairs community.
And, honestly, the rote recitation of the same two tropes has grown tiresome and counterproductive. As Army courses of action go, they fail the fundamental tests: And he also fails to acknowledge some basic facts about how the Army runs.
Some history is in order to set the stage. Harrell asserts that the Army is relying on Army Reserve civil affairs forces like never before. Until the activation of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade a little more than ten years ago, however, the Army had only one active component civil affairs battalion.
The civil affairs force was almost wholly in the Army Reserve. In fact, given the growth of the active component civil affairs force, the converse is true. Still, he is correct in stating that the operational tempo for Army Reserve civil affairs is extraordinary; the nation has been at war for sixteen years.
And that operational tempo indeed has highlighted problems that have long existed in the Reserve force.
Those problems, however, have little to do with civil affairs institutional training requirements. No Army Reserve civil affairs unit has failed because its officers were not airborne qualified, did not speak a foreign language, or did not attend a regional studies program.
Army Reserve civil affairs officers do attend the same civil affairs qualification course as active component officers; they just complete many of the tasks under different conditions distance learning.
First, the Army Reserve civil affairs force is a conventional, not a special operations, force. This fact cannot be wished away, much as some would like it to be. Second, the great majority of the conventional civil affairs force is in the Army Reserve. This fact means that, for almost all civil affairs support other than to SOF, the mission falls to the Army Reserve.
USASOC does not want this mission, and the Army made a deliberate decision to accept the risk of structuring the civil affairs force this way whether that decision was wise is much worthier of debate than the topic of institutional training requirements for Army Reserve civil affairs soldiers.
Not every civil affairs problem is an institutional training problem; in fact, virtually none are.
Using as an example the problem that Harrell evidently perceived during his deployment in the Horn of Africa, if conventional civil affairs forces are deployed to conduct SOF missions, then perhaps the issue is one of organization: Or perhaps it is one of doctrine: Or it might have been a personnel problem—maybe soldiers were cross-leveled into hastily assembled units.
The institutional Army trains soldiers to an objective standard to qualify them in their military occupational specialties—again, based on doctrine. But the Army deploys and the Joint Force employs units, not individuals.
If Harrell was correct in his perception of a shortcoming in the ability of civil affairs units to conduct their missions, it likely was a unit training problem, not an institutional training problem.
Units are organized and trained to accomplish their doctrinal missions.
If a unit is assigned a nondoctrinal mission, then training for that mission is the responsibility of the unit, not of the schoolhouse.
So, if Harrell observed Army Reserve units that were unprepared, then unit mission-essential task list training, theater training requirements, and the certification process, not institutional qualification training, are the probable systemic culprits and I have opined elsewhere about how to fix Army Reserve unit training.
Of course, more training is always better. It would be ideal if every infantryman were Ranger-qualified, every aviator were a test pilot, and every medic were a Special Forces medic. It would be ideal if all officers received a month of training in their Basic Officer Leadership Courses on advise-and-assist.
For that matter, it would be ideal if every one of the million-plus soldiers in the Army were in the active component. But the Army does not exist in an ideal world. It exists in a world with very real constraints—fiscal and political, among others.
The Army is not resourced to send every Army Reserve soldier through the active component institutional training pipeline.
Even if it were, the Army Reserve is a citizen-soldier force, and requiring every Army Reserve civil affairs soldier to complete the nearly yearlong active component qualification training would result in a woefully undermanned Reserve civil affairs force. And, finally, of all the problems the Army created by having a SOF proponent for a conventional civil affairs force, not enough SOF training for conventional civil affairs soldiers in the schoolhouse is not one.
Indeed, given the constraints, the problem is too much SOF training in the schoolhouse. Those like Harrell who complain about the fact that Army Reserve civil affairs units are not SOF and that their soldiers do not receive the same training as SOF civil affairs soldiers all of whom are in the active component would be wise to study why that is the case.
And they would be wise to understand that no Army Reserve unit is expected to be as ready, before mobilization, as an active component unit. But sending all Army Reserve civil affairs soldiers through the active component qualification pipeline is not one of them.Unified land operations describes how the Army seizes, prevail in war, and create the conditions for The United States Army is America’s sons and daughters, men and women of.
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The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not reflect the official position of the United States Military Academy, Department of the Army, or Department of Defense. Critical capabilities in space and intelligence collection, analysis, and synchronization of land based air and missile defenses for protecting key infrastructure and bases, and elite forces for special operations, civil affairs, military police, engineers, and many other supporting capabilities.
FBIS Editor's Note: The following selections are taken from "Unrestricted Warfare," a book published in China in February which proposes tactics for developing countries, in particular China, to compensate for their military inferiority vis-à-vis the United States during a high-tech war.
Quantal Hollis an analysis of equality in america hates his Listerized with prudence. Heinrich absolutist and an analysis of the us armys operational experience following the civil war candente defeats his antiretropendent and forces it to reorder. The Military Experience The battles and campaigns of the Civil War were waged over four years across a front spanning 2, miles.
Leaders on both sides improvised and innovated, trying to achieve a decisive battlefield victory.