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Phillip W. Williams Jr. If the armed forces of the Western democracies are to support Allies from the Third World, is our force posture truly oriented toward enhancing their autonomous combat capability, or are we constrained to explicitly taking part in the fighting, simply because our weapons and ancillaries are not effectively transferable. In Afghanistan we were completely unconventional with beards, civilian clothes and isolated locations. There was a time when any effort toward Civil-Military Operations CMO was more often seen as a post-combat consideration.

But over time, and by necessity, CMO has grown to encompass operations throughout the full spectrum of war: all the pre- post- and inter-combat phases. The uncomfortable truth that many in modern western society do not want to face is that war, by its very nature, will kill people and break things. However, in the midst of that truth is a second truth that many seem to forget: Namely, that the United States of America, more so than any other nation, expends great resources to develop and implement the means of mitigating the effects of the first truth on noncombatants and infrastructure in the war zone.

No other nation in the history of the world has so earnestly sought to conduct military operations while simultaneously striving to minimize the killing and breaking. It is a monumental struggle. No small thing by any means.

And yet, there is not even a debate as to whether or not that second truth should be pursued. A complete victory requires a full-spectrum approach that by necessity engages the host nation at every level. But until the bullets stop flying the stage for victory must also by necessity be set by the warfighter, who must in turn have skills that accomplish the requirements for both fighting and diplomacy.

But drawing from the full list of SOF Imperatives 2 one can see that SOF soldiers are uniquely trained and capable of developing the deep inro into the civilian centers of gravity that highly detailed and successful CMO require. During the course of the Global War on Terror SOF soldiers have Mature chat Qaslaq as immersed in the culture and fabric of all theaters of operation as anyone in uniform can.

In both Afghanistan and Iraq, the conduct of current warfare has never had more negative effects than the oppression and degradation that both the Afghan and Iraqi people endured before we arrived. Konduz was known as the breadbasket of Afghanistan due to the fertile river basin in which it sat. But Konduz had also been the frontline between Mature chat Qaslaq Northern Alliance and the Taliban for years and had long been a Taliban stronghold in the North. The siege of Konduz was one of the Talibans last gasps in the initial combat operations that secured the country and was viewed in micro-detail on the international news networks.

Nothing worked anymore. But it was less the effects of combat and more the effects of the Neanderthal Taliban that broke the back of Konduz and the rest of Afghanistan. As a quasi-governmental entity the Taliban ruled by force and subjugated by deprivation.

They decided that the grain silos from which thousands of Afghans received much needed rations were better suited as their arms and ammunition storage facilities thereby creating unnecessary famine. This was a regime that would rather remove the walls of existing needed structures and use the bricks for something else, as opposed to making new bricks like Afghans had done for centuries.

And most notably, I have known Afghans who could tell from experience of beatings, torture, maiming and execution in the public squares without so much as a modicum of a trial. In the Spring ofas an extension of the US military, the SOF elements in Konduz worked hard to see, among other projects, the renovation of several girls and boys schools, the complete rebuilding of the Konduz Provisions Warehouse and grain silos, the establishment and recognition of a representative democracy at the grass roots level, and the improvement of the quality of life for a people who had lived hand-to-mouth for years.

One of the poignant highlights of Mature chat Qaslaq effort was to see kites flying in that first post-Taliban Spring. Flying kites is a traditional thing for Afghan children. But the Taliban had outlawed it for years.

Seeing the kites means that the Taliban are gone. In actual fact all of the CMO efforts committed by my team in Afghanistan took place in conjunction with long-range patrolling, combat operations, and a complete reliance upon tactical resupply by air while living in austere conditions.

It was much the same story in Baghdad. Once again, the mission was not to fix what the current combat operations had broken near so much as to fix what the Baath party had neglected or broken themselves. No pre-war western sanctions created the conditions in the slums of Baghdad. In many areas sewage filled the streets and courtyards ankle-deep due to cracked and outdated sewer lines.

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In the Sheik Omar slum one broken water main dribbled into the street as the only source of potable water for thousands of residents in that area of the slum. And on many residential streets pirated power lines hung like spider webs just above the vehicles driving through. Yet Saddam spent his money on visual Mature chat Qaslaq of his egomania while his people suffered.

But it was more striking to talk to the people and hear firsthand again of the tales of abuse and fear. Our chief base of operations was the former Iraqi Olympic complex where Uday Hussein beheaded members of the Olympic team for not winning medals.

Just outside the wire was a large building where my interpreter informed me anecdotally that Qusay kept young women in his rape rooms, many of whom were found there pregnant when Baghdad was liberated. On one combat operation in the Al-Tib neighborhood I was told by an Iraqi man of the day that he was in a local restaurant when Uday Hussein brought a tiger from the Baghdad Zoo and set it loose in the restaurant just to see what would happen.

Afghanistan and Iraq, while different in many respects, shared some very sobering similarities. Both had a population and an infrastructure that had been degraded and abused to the point that hope was a word without application. In both cases, CMO efforts were mounted in Mature chat Qaslaq midst of ongoing combat operations to work closely with civilians in battlespace. It was like watching an entire populace wake up from a bad dream. As a whole the population was blinking their eyes in the light of a new day and trying to get their hands around the completely foreign concepts of freedom, democracy, self-determination, and civil liberty.

Historical Perspective. All of this to lay the groundwork for an axiom of warfare as conducted by western societies and notably the United States: that the US does more to win friends in the midst of killing enemies than any nation on earth. The United States has brought that change to bear on the landscape of modern warfare. Counterinsurgency is nothing more or less than armed social work, an attempt to redress basic social and political problems while being shot at. This makes CMO a central counterinsurgency activity, not an afterthought.

CMO is the restructuring of the environment in order to displace the enemy. Historical vignettes related to CMO are available prior to World War Two such as the period of southern reconstruction after the American Civil War, The establishment of civil-military government in the Philippines following the insurrection, or the post-war government in Europe in the immediate days after World War I.

Army and the host nations and Allies with whom U. A rather inauspicious start to what would later become a part of the U. Army and local Mature chat Qaslaq in England and Ireland during the build-up of U. Eisenhower to the importance and role of CA in the actual Theater of Operations. In reflecting on Operation Torch General Eisenhower stated that:. In assessing the accomplishments he wrote: "…in spite of natural mistakes it [the new job] was splendidly done. We gained experience and learned lessons for similar and greater tasks still lying ahead of us in Italy and Germany.

Thereafter CA gained increasing, albeit often grudging, prominence in the planning of Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. Civil Affairs soldiers ensured the transition from Nazi occupation of sovereign European countries and German governance to a post-war democracy. In doing so, aside from actual government functions, the CA specialists focused on reestablishment of critical social services, medicine, and infrastructure.

As pundits cry for speed in the establishment of the new Iraq today history clearly shows that the effective establishment of post-WWII democratic Germany took time with the actual final draft of the German Constitution taking six years to develop from the end of the War. And once again, formal CMO was put in place. In the winter of the movement of several million refugees threatened interference with the use of vital communication lines. Later still, removal of civilians from combat areas and their subsequent care and disposition were deemed necessary, not only for humanitarian reasons, but as a security measure as well.

Civil Affairs troops worked throughout the Korean War and its aftermath to stabilize and secure the population and infrastructure of South Korea. Still in place today the CA assets oriented toward Korea have no choice but to lay on the planning and contingencies for a possible future reunification of the two Koreas - a possibility that demands incredible future resources to stabilize a starving North Korea.

In the Vietnam conflict was fairly new to the United States. In the conflicts and actions conducted by the U. That changed in Vietnam. Prior to the days of large scale conventional units being deployed to Southeast Asia U. Special Forces SF were already there. LTC John T. Little, a White Star commander said this to his men:. In an insurgency situation, the guerrilla is dependent on a sympathetic population.

Counter-guerilla operations must, therefore, have as one objective winning the populations cooperation and denying the enemy their sympathy. You cannot make a new Laos in one day, but it only takes one Mature chat Qaslaq to start. Multi-faceted Soldiers. But Sadr City proper, with its millions of impoverished citizens in slum like conditions, was the battlespace of an adjacent Brigade Combat Team.

But we were close enough to watch Apache attack helicopters making gun runs on Sadr City streets. On one particular night we pulled out our night vision gear and watched for a half hour or more as an AC Spectre Gunship lit up targets on the far side of Sadr City in pass after pass.

Knowing the conditions in Sadr City I had wondered on several occasions how any beneficial CMO could be conducted there. He was obviously trained to do things other than CMO, but yet here he was drawing funds for reconstruction projects in one of the hottest spots in the entire Global War on Terror. He appeared to be a contrasting set of skill sets, but in reality he was uniquely suited for his particular asment. The point here is that CMO is not a function of post-combat operations anymore. Mission first…the skillful application of maneuver, mass and firepower are the foremost consideration in combat.

But they are not the only consideration. Maneuver, mass and firepower will always be impeded by the presence of civilians and the issues those civilians bring to the battlefield. For that reason the U. There is no ideal profile of a Civil Affairs soldier but the fact is that to conduct CMO effectively there has to be an equal balance of soldier and aid worker.

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CMO is a multi-faceted job in which the CA soldier builds a somewhat schizophrenic. One minute you are shooter and the next minute a diplomat.

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On any given day a Civil Affairs soldier is also a construction contractor, a governmental aide, a trainer, a bearer of humanitarian assistance, a safeguard of innocent civilians, a pay agent, and a mediator. There is obviously a fine line there and that fine line Mature chat Qaslaq walked every single day by those who are tasked with Civil Military Operations. This requires: 1. A SOF warrior who will maintain a proficient level of combat efficiency and; 3. The ability to meaningfully develop real relationships with civilians that have a mutuality of interest and a bond of trust.

On the morning of the sixteenth the records reflect that the Spartans were in the final planning and preparation phase for a Brigade sized Cordon and Attack mission in the restive Ahdamiyah District of Central Baghdad.

A Cordon and Attack is Mature chat Qaslaq a large scale flushing of enemy opposition in a confined area. Elements of the unit cordon the area sealing off all routes in and out of the targeted area. Once the cordon is set the maneuver elements move in and sweep the area searching out and destroying any enemy resistance. But we had other business to attend to first. Just two days prior our Team had intervened to assist an elder Imam at a very central and important Sunni Mosque.

Young Wahabi extremists had interposed themselves in this Mosque and were threatening the older leader. He was given the evidence of the Wahabist action and promised to follow up. Switching gears, the Team made its way through the Green Zone to the finance office to make the necessary coordination to draw funds for the renovation of a local elementary school.

The records reflect that we then spent the remainder of the early afternoon practicing immediate-action combat drills with special emphasis on dismounting our vehicles in the not so unlikely event that a grenade was dropped in what were then open topped unarmored Humvees.

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