More on US Military as Public & Cultural Diplomats

Are we using our military resources appropriately? In Conflict-Post-Conflict (CPC) transitions, "securing the peace" is essential. As was seen in Iraq (and New Orleans), failing to provide adequate infrastructure, including personal (beyond personnel) security, for civil society results in a breakdown at the seams. Equatable with the war-peace seam of Barnett, it is nevertheless a widely known fundamental. It is even coded in the Laws of War as the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The US military found itself with sufficient resources to win the war but not win the peace. Besides Ambassador Bremer's mea culpa, we can look at back at before the war and the conflict between General Shinseki and then-Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz. The military, trained in long views and case study analysis, comes up with a variety of inter-connected plans.

Looking at their human resources, the "cannon-cockers" were found to be available for secondary duty.  Of course, after the major operations are done, the need for heavy (and field?) artillery diminishes, as we saw in Gunner Palace.

A note on vocabularly. "Civil-military relations" in the context below is not the same civil-military relations as I explore on this blog. Here, they are talking about civil affairs in the realm of civil operations, peace, rebuilding, etc.

This is an effective re-tasking of resources, especially in when MOOTW are more prevalent and operations will rely less on the big guns. As I have mentioned before, place the military in the lead for civil outreach (i.e. public diplomacy as the military is the representative of the State; and cultural diplomacy as the military is the American face and experience the locals get) may be problematic in the long run. The integration of civilian police and support structures into the post-conflict response is critical to remove the US = Military experience of the civilian population at the earliest possible time.

There are basic prerequisites to the transition, of course, including the establishment of basic and essential civilian security. Basic city services (water, electricty, sewage, and waste collection) each follow (probably in reverse order). The military is already working on the coordination team, JPASE.

I could continue on this, but that's for another post...

From the Marine Corps Times 6 Dec 2005:

Artillery units will now take the lead on civil-military operations in their respective Marine division. Hagee directed the deputy commandant for combat development and integration to establish a task force that will meet by month’s end to coordinate integration of civil affairs military occupational specialties with headquarters elements of artillery units to serve as trainers and subject-matter experts.

Currently, the Corps’ ability to conduct CMO is limited to the expertise of its two Reserve civil affairs groups, staffed with only about 150 Marines each.

“If we’re going to do the things we think we’re going to be doing in the future, the kinds of fights that we’re getting into, the kind of stability operations … we need more civil affairs capability,” said deputy commandant for plans, policy and operations, Lt. Gen. Jan Huly, during an Oct. 19 interview.

Corps policy makers have said artillery units are ideal for the CMO mission because those operations occur only after the need for artillery fire support has passed and because artillery units contain the necessary communications and transportation equipment.