Civil Military Engagements Program: A Special Operations Solution to Threats Derived from Undergoverned Areas   [open pdf - 925KB]

A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Military Art and Science, Art of War Scholars. From the abstract: "Arguably the most serious threats to United States (U.S.) national security, in both the current and future operating environments are terrorist or criminal non-state organizations. The 2015 National Security Strategy, 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, and Army Operating Concept 2020-2040 clearly identifies these threats as the most complex problem that the U.S. Army will face. In 2014, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) requested further research to identify ways that Special Operations Forces (SOF) may effectively accomplish their objectives in undergoverned, threat areas. Using three regionally diverse examples, this thesis proposes that the Civil Military Engagements (CME) program, within the Civil Affairs (CA) Regiment, provides SOF an optimal solution to achieve its long-term objectives in undergoverned areas. This is initially due to their ability to gain and maintain access into targeted regions, and capitalizing on this access by filling information gaps and identifying sources of instability for both SOF and Department of State (DoS). However, the greatest value is the program's ability to serve as a vanguard for DoS efforts in assisting host nation governance."

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