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United States Government,
United Nations, and Other International

Now is the time to explore joint agency ventures . . .

                                         Admiral Paul David Miller
                                                       CINC USACOM

US Army forces conduct peace operations directed by the NCA in close cooperation with or under the supervision of other agencies, the UN, and NGOs. This appendix provides commanders and their staffs with information about possible players in peace operations with whom they may be unfamiliar. It includes descriptions of these entities and their functions and roles but is not an exhaustive treatment of all possibilities.


Units may work with any number of United States Government agencies, to include the NCA, the National Security Council (NSC), other DOD agencies, DOS, AID, the Aid Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (AOFDA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Transportation, the Coast Guard, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Justice, the Office of International Affairs, the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).


The NCA consists of the President and the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) together or their duly deputized alternates or successors. Both movement of troops and execution of military action must be directed by the NCA, no one else in the chain of command has such authority. The NCA directs armed forces involvement in operations. Orders given to the US forces commander must include the appropriate NCA mandate (instructions) for the operation.


The NSC develops policy guidance for employment of military assets and conduct of operations. The NSC provides a representative to any established interagency oversight committee when requested by the SECDEF.


The Office of the SECDEF has several assistants who may be involved in the conduct of peace operations.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Requirements

The Assistant Secretary for Strategy and Requirements (ASD[S&R]) is the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD[P]) and the SECDEF on DOD policy and planning for US participation in international PK and PE operations. In these capacities, the ASD(S&R) shall develop, coordinate, and oversee the implementation of policy and plans for matters related to the participation of US armed forces and other DOD resources in UN and other international peacekeeping or peace enforcement activities. This includes the development of policy related to creating, identifying, training, exercising, and committing military forces for such purposes. A Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement (DASD[PK/PE]) serves under the ASD(S&R).

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD[SO/LIC]) is the principal staff assistant and civilian advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the USD(P) for policy- and planning-related special operations and low-intensity conflict activities within DOD. Many peace operations are low-intensity conflicts or have the characteristics of low-intensity conflicts. SOF, especially CA, PSYOP, and SF units, have unique capabilities and responsibilities for peace operations. ASD(SO/LIC), among other responsibilities--

  • Provides policy guidance and oversees planning, programming, resourcing, and execution of SO and LIC activities.

  • Provides policy concerning PSYOP forces, plans, and programs.

  • Oversees integrated development and refinement of doctrine, strategies, and processes for SO and LIC, to include supporting studies and analyses.

  • Reviews and evaluates policies, processes, and programs of DOD components to plan, resources, prepare forces, and execute SO and LIC operations and initiate and coordinate action to enhance readiness.

Figure C-1. In peace operations, units may work with any number of US Government or nongovernment agencies.

  • Supervises overall preparation and justification of program recommendations and budget proposals for SO activities in the Five Year Defense Plan (FYDP).

  • Advises the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition) (USD[A]) on acquisition priorities and requirements for SO and LIC-related materiel and equipment, to include participation in appropriate boards and committees.

  • Serves as principal staff assistant and advisor to the USD(P) and SECDEF for--

- DOD support to the President's counter-drug strategy.

- DOD humanitarian assistance programs and other humanitarian issues, including refugees and laws of war.

- US international information programs.

Defense Security Assistance Agency

The Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA) directs, administers, and supervises the execution of security assistance programs. This involves providing guidance to military services, unified commands, and in-country security assistance officers in their efforts to assist foreign governments obtain US equipment, training, and other defense-related services authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended, and the Arms Export Control Act.


The Department of State is responsible for the formulation and implementation of US foreign policy.

Authority and Responsibilities

In a given country, DOS authority is delegated to one of several principal staff assistants. The Secretary of State (SECSTATE) provides a senior DOS representative to any interagency or interdepartmental HA oversight committee, as requested by the SECDEF. The DOS may provide primary policy guidance in the following areas:

  • Matters having an impact on US relations with other countries.

  • The extent to which commanders interfere in the government of a particular country.

  • The level at which the economy of a country is maintained.

  • Matters involving informational programs, supporting psychological aspects, and attitudes of the indigenous population.

  • The level of subsistence for civilians in a country in which US forces are stationed or employed and by whom such subsistence in part or in whole must be provided.

  • Plans or procedures for the return of civil government functions to civilian control.

  • Efficiency and costs of programs undertaken to gain the understanding, acceptance, confidence, and support of civil populations.

  • Embassy or consulate emergency action plans (EAPS) for the city or area under their cognizance. These plans and photographs could be beneficial to the forces involved in missions. The information they provide includes evacuation sites, landing zones (LZs), ports, and beaches; the number of evacuees (if required), assembly areas; command posts.

  • Acts of terrorism. If the host nation is unable to adequate]y protect itself from acts of terrorism, the DOS can provide support through its antiterrorism assistance (ATA) program to teach host nation officials governance and law enforcement. The latter should include how to maintain the internal security of the nation. In particular, Federal Aviation Administration instruction on airport procedures and security could be included.

Important State Department Embassy Positions

Commanders involved in peace operations should be familiar with the duties of the following State Department officials and organizations normally found at US embassies.

Ambassador/Chief of Mission. The ambassador, or chief of mission, is the senior US official, military or civilian, at the embassy. The ambassador usually has overall direction, coordination, and supervision of US Government activities and personnel in a host country. This authority does not extend to personnel in other missions or those assigned to either an international agency or to a combatant commander. A crisis may arise where the US has no diplomatic mission. In such a situation, the President may send a representative with instructions that vary from the standard authorities and responsibilities of a chief of mission.

During cross-border emergencies, the US ambassador to the host nation normally exercises command and control in the interagency environment. However, this control may be complicated when cross-border emergencies such as civilians crossing international borders or attacks against refugee camps take place. Therefore, interagency working groups should establish procedures on cross-border situations.

Deputy Chief of Mission. The deputy chief of mission (DCM) is the senior diplomatic official in an embassy below the rank of ambassador. He has the diplomatic title of minister, ministercounselor, or counselor (depending upon the size of the mission) and is nearly always a career Foreign Service officer (FSO). The DCM usually chairs the country team meetings and coordinates the embassy staff.

Chief of Military Mission. The chief of military mission is the senior military person at the embassy. He maintains liaison with the host nation's military forces. He is authorized by law to perform certain military functions with host country military barred to others. He is cognizant of the advance party forward command element (FCE).

Chief of Station. The chief of station is the person responsible for gathering HUMINT and signal intelligence (SIGINT) and informing the ambassador.

Defense Attache Officer. The defense attache officer (DAO) is the military person attached to the embassy in a diplomatic status representing DOD. This officer can facilitate access to the daily embassy situation report (SITREP) and other written intelligence. All military personnel, even those not assigned to the embassy or under direct control of the ambassador, must coordinate their activities through the DAO.

Security Assistance Officer. The security assistance officer is the person assigned to carry out security assistance management functions, primarily, logistics management, fiscal management, and contract administration of country security assistance programs.

Administration Officer. The administration officer is responsible for various activities at the embassy compound, which may include providing security at small posts; running the commissary, motor pool, and maintenance activities; and handling monetary aspects of the embassy business, including foreign service national (FSN) payroll, cash collection, and budget. The AO is the third in command in the embassy hierarchy. In a small post with no security officer assigned, the AO assumes the functions of the security officer.

Political Officer. A political officer is an FSO who reports on political developments, negotiates with governments, and represents views and policies of the US Government to his contacts. The political officer maintains regular contact with host government officials, political and labor leaders, and other influential citizens of a country, as well as third country diplomats. The political officer is a major contributor to the overall intelligence picture.

Economic Officer. The economic officer analyzes, reports on, and advises superiors and DOS personnel on economic matters in the host country. Economic officers also negotiate with the host government on trade and financial issues. They may also work in close contact with relief organizations.

Consular Officer. The main function of the consular officer is to screen, process, and grant US passports and visas. Other duties include attending to the welfare of US citizens and performing administrative tasks such as maintaining a count of US nationals within the host country. The consular officer provides appropriate personnel to screen documents of all potential evacuees during noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO) and provides any necessary instructions that personnel may need to effectively staff processing stations.

Medical Officer. The medical officer is qualified for general practice and responds to and sets up triage, trauma, and mass casualty operations. The medical officer also advises on indigenous disease vectors and proper prophylaxis necessary for forces introduced into the country.

Public Affairs Officer. The USIA (US Information Service [USIS] overseas) representative of the country team normally serves as the public affairs officer (PAO) to provide public affairs advice to the ambassador and coordinate information efforts with other agencies.

Regional Security Officer. The regional security officer (RSO) is a security officer responsible for the security functions of US embassies and consulates in a given country or group of adjacent countries.

Post Security Officer. The post security officer (PSO) has general security duties at a specific embassy (or consulate). The PSO is a special staff officer under the control of the AO.

Special Security Force. The special security force consists of DOS employees who respond to crises in foreign countries. They work for the RSO and provide additional bodyguard security for the ambassador, the DCM, and others.

General Services Officer. The general services officer performs many of the same functions as a G4 or S4. He is normally responsible for buildings, grounds, construction, vehicles, and maintenance.

Marine Security Guard Detachment. The noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of the Marine Security Guard (MSG) Detachment is normally a member of the EAC and is responsible to the PSO for internal security, protection of classified material, and American lives. An MSG detachment normally has 5 to 35 personnel assigned. The detachment is not available for duty with incoming forces, except with the express consent of the ambassador.

Country Team. The country team consists of the ranking representatives of embassy sections and other US Government agencies operating within a country. Chaired by the ambassador or the DCM, the country team meets regularly to advise the ambassador on US matters and to review current developments in the country. Included in the country team are the--

  • Ambassador.

  • DCM.

  • Chief of political section.

  • Political and military affairs officers.

  • Consular officer.

  • Administrative officer.

  • Economics officer.

  • USIS representatives.

  • DEA, AID, and Peace Corps representatives.

  • CIA, DAO, and military assistance group (MAG).

  • Security assistance officer.

The country team facilitates interagency action on recommendations from the field and implements effective execution of US programs and policies.


USAID is an agency under the policy direction of the DOS that coordinates US foreign assistance efforts. In a peace support operation, armed forces work closely with USAID staff. USAID emphasizes--

  • Stimulation of market economies and investment by US companies in developing nations.

  • Improvement of schools, colleges, training organizations, supportive government ministries, and other institutions to support economic growth.

  • Policy reform to advance development.

  • Transfer of technology to help countries produce their own resources.

Foreign economic assistance provided by USAID is normally in the form of development assistance loans and grants to improve the quality of life of the poorest people in less developed countries. It also includes the Economic Support Fund, part of the Security Assistance Program. The SECSTATE and the USAID administrator make policy decisions concerning the Economic Support Fund Program. The fund includes balance of payment support and financing of infrastructure and other capital projects. Food is administered in close cooperation with the USDA.


AOFDA is the federal agency responsible for providing prompt nonmilitary assistance to alleviate loss of life and suffering of foreign disaster victims. AOFDA may request DOD assistance during HA operations. Coordination and determination of required forces is normally accomplished through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (ASD[ISA]) and the JCS.


The USIA (US Information Service [USIS] overseas) helps to achieve US foreign policy objectives by influencing public attitudes overseas. The agency advises the President and US departments outside CONUS on the possible impact of policy, programs, and official statements on foreign opinion. USIA monitors the impact of peace support operations on local attitudes and aids peace operation forces by gaining popular support for them. To encourage public support for US policy objectives and to counter hostile attempts to distort and frustrate US programs, USIA conducts a wide range of information activities.


FEMA coordinates federal, state, and local resources on issues of national security, emergency preparedness, civil defense, continuity of mobilization preparedness, and continuity of government and technological disasters within the US, its territories, and possessions. FEMA has the authority to direct DOD assistance to state and local governments to save lives and protect property, public health, and safety. Peace operation forces may facilitate FEMA-DOD planning and coordination of assessments consistent with their mission and ease suffering, consistent with established procedures and national defense priorities.


DOT has technical capabilities and expertise in public transportation that may be available upon request to assist specific HA operations. The primary organization with which peace operation forces may work is the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard (USCG) is responsible for federal maritime law enforcement and port security in peacetime and is a military service under the Department of the Navy in wartime. The USCG has expertise in areas of shipping, commerce, marine life industry, and conservation. USCG international training efforts provide a mechanism for sharing its expertise abroad; such expertise can be made available for peace support operations, if needed. Additionally, results of DOD and DOT projects related to peace support missions are available upon request.


The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projects and activities ongoing in foreign countries and can provide technical assistance to peace support forces, if requested. Coordinated DOD and projects and teams can be developed for specific countries or regions.


The Department of Justice agencies with which HA forces may come into contact include DEA and Community Relations Service (CRS).

Drug Enforcement Agency

DEA coordinates DOD peace support operations. DEA programs and projects can be developed for specific countries and regions. The DEA can--

  • Assist in providing legal, self-sustaining, income-earning alternatives to underdeveloped, agriculturally based nations.

  • Improve international exchange of information about successful drug prevention and education programs.

Community Relations Service

CRS is under the general authority of the attorney general. CRS provides on-site resolution assistance through a field staff of mediators and conciliators. CRS not only aids in resolving difficulties as they erupt but also seeks to assist and support communities in developing mechanisms to address future problems.

Office of International Affairs

The Office of International Affairs coordinates and supports Department of Justice international efforts and supports the DOS during international treaty negotiations.


The promotes the protection and advancement of a nation's physical and mental health. Peace support forces are most likely to work with the PHS when bringing migrants or refugees into the US or US territories. PHS ensures that no health threat is posed by such immigrations.


The INS provides information and service to the general public while enforcing immigration control. The INS--

  • Facilitates the entry of persons legally admissible as visitors or as immigrants of the US.

  • Grants benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act, including assistance to those seeking permanent resident status or naturalization.

  • Prevents unlawful entry to the US.

  • Apprehends and removes aliens who enter or remain illegally in the US or whose stay is not in the best interests of this nation.


UN organizations primarily concerned with peace operations include the High Commissioner for Refugees, the Disaster Management Team (UN-DMT), and the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UNDHA).


The UNHCR has a major role in coordinating aid to refugees, returnees, and displaced persons. Except in special circumstances, it material assistance activities are conducted through national or local authorities of the country concerned, other organizations of the UN system, NGOs, or private technical agencies.

Coordination with the UNHCR is critical for any humanitarian relief effort. Failure to coordinate with UNHCR before and during the operation, or failure to meet UNHCR standards, may preclude the UNHCR from accepting transfer of equipment, supplies, and facilities as the military disengages. To preclude this, a working relationship should be established with UNHCR immediately upon notification of a mission with UNHCR. A copy of the UNHCR text that outlines specifications for refugee camp construction should be available.


The UN-DMT is the primary agency responsible for coordinating assistance to persons compelled to leave their homes as a result of disasters, natural and otherwise.

United Nations Department Of Humanitarian Affairs

UNDHA is the focal point for disaster management in the UN system. It mobilizes and coordinates international disaster relief, promotes disaster mitigation (through the provision of advisory services and technical assistance), and promotes awareness, information exchange, and the transfer of knowledge on disaster-related matters.

UNDHA is responsible for maintaining contact with disaster management entities and emergency services worldwide and is able to mobilize specialized resources. The appointed UNDHA resident coordinator has a crucial role in providing leadership to the UN team at country level. He also coordinates locally represented PVOs and NGOs as required. The resident coordinator convenes the UN-DMT at country level, seeking unity of effort among all the various PVOs, NGOs, and agencies. The following UN programs can be expected in the AO. They help form the UN-DMT when the UN system has been mobilized to assist in the emergency.

United Nations Development Program

The UN Development Program (UNDP) promotes the incorporation of disaster mitigation in development planning and funds technical assistance for all aspects of disaster management. Work is long range. The UNDP senior member may be appointed as a regional coordinator or may also serve as the UNDHA in-country coordinator. UNDP also provides administrative assistance support to the resident coordinator and to the UN-DMT.

World Food Program

The World Food Program (WFP) is an operational, relief-oriented organization. It provides targeted food aid and supports rehabilitation, reconstruction, and risk-reducing development programs. Targeted food aid is special subsistence aligned to a special segment of the population. This organization mobilizes and coordinates the delivery of complementary emergency and program food aid from bilateral and other sources.

United Nations Childrens' Fund

The United Nations Childrens' Fund (UNICEF) is a relief-oriented organization. It attends to the well-being of children and women, especially child health and nutrition. The activities of this organization may include social programs, child feed (in collaboration with WFP), water supplies, sanitation and direct health intervention (in coordination with the World Health Organization [WHO]). UNICEF provides related management and logistical support.

World Health Organization

WHO is an organization involved more in long range programs. It provides advice and assistance in all aspects of preventive and curative health care. This assistance includes the preparedness of health services for rapid response to disasters.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is an organization also involved in longrange programs. It provides technical advice in reducing vulnerability and helps in the rehabilitation of agriculture, livestock, and fisheries. The organization emphasizes local food production. It also monitors food production, exports and imports, and forecasts any requirements for exceptional food assistance.


Other international organizations include the American Council for Voluntary International Action and PVOs and NGOs.


The American Council for Voluntary International Action is a broadly based coalition of 120 American PVOs that work in international development, refugee assistance, public policy, and education of Americans in third world nations. Since 1984, it has played a significant role in disaster preparedness and response to disasters. It exists to complement and enhance the effectiveness of its member organizations and the PVO community as a whole.

A grant from AOFDA has helped this organization establish a professional forum for cooperation, joint planning, and exchange of information when disaster occurs. However, it is not likely that interaction will occur within the country in need of assistance. The work of the council is executed in the US and is geared to maintain an effective liaison with AOFDA. It acts as a coordinator at the staff level in meeting requirements identified by its members operating within the country in need.


The list of PVOs and NGOs that may be found in an AO could be very large. Approximately 350 agencies capable of conducting some form of humanitarian relief operation are registered with the USAID. Also, many foreign-based organizations are not required to register in the US. USAID publishes a yearly report, titled Voluntary Foreign Aid Programs, that describes the aims and objectives of the registered organization. It should be part of the combatant commander's library. The following humanitarian PVOs and humanitarian relief organizations (HROs) may be found in an AO.

American Friends of Action Internationale Contre La Faim

American Friends of Action Internationale Contre La Faim (AIFC) promotes development efforts and provides emergency assistance in African, Asia, and the Caribbean. It focuses on primary health care, potable water, environmental sanitation, and agriculture-based income generation. The most basic commitment is to enhance local capacities at both the community and central levels.

Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services operates relief, welfare, and self-help programs in 74 countries to assist refugees, war victims, and other needy people. CRS emphasizes the distribution of food and clothing and the provision of primary health care. Their capability to provide technical assistance and social services has steadily increased in recent years.

Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere, Incorporated

Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere, Inc. (CARE) conducts relief and development programs in over 40 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin American, and the Caribbean. Programs are carried out under three-way partnership contracts among CARE, private or national government agencies, and local communities in the areas of health, nutrition, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), population management, natural resources management, agriculture, small economic activities, and emergency assistance. CARE provides technical assistance, training, food, other material resources, and management in combinations appropriate to local needs and priorities. Their particular strength is in food distribution, emergency transport and general logistics.

Doctors Without Borders/ Medicines Sans Frontiers

Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) provides medical assistance to victims of disasters, accidents, and war. The US organization is closely associated with its counterparts in Belgium, Holland, Spain, and France. Medical relief teams depart on over 700 yearly missions to areas of conflict, refugee camps, national disaster sites, and areas lacking adequate health care facilities. Their particular areas of expertise are emergency medicine, vaccinations, and basic hygiene services.

The International Medical Corps

The International Medical Corps (IMC) provides health care and establishes health training programs in developing countries and distressed areas worldwide. They specialize in areas where few other relief organizations operate. IMCs goal is to promote self-sufficiency through health education and training. Its particular areas of expertise are immunizations and primary health care.

International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) assists refugees and internally displaced victims of war and civil strife. Services range from emergency relief and assistance programs to refugee resettlement in the US. IRC monitors human service delivery and refugee processing for US resettlement. IRC can provide emergency medical support, public health, and small-scale water and sanitation capabilities.

Irish Concern

Irish Concern (IC) is one of the foreign NGOs that receives funding from USAID and AOFDA. Its primary area of expertise is supplementary and therapeutic feeding and sanitation.

Lutheran World Relief, Incorporated

Lutheran World Relief, Inc. (LWR) provides financial, material, and personnel support, usually through counterpart church-related agencies, in the areas of disaster relief, refugee assistance, and social and economic development. LWR is also competent in the provision of health care.

Save the Children Federation

Save the Children Federation-UK (SCF-UK) programs are guided by a set of principles that include identifying project goals and implementing projects, transferring necessary skills, encouraging self-help, and using available resources. This organization is more relief-oriented than its US counterpart. It concentrates on supplementary feeding, seeds and tools, and general infrastructure.

World Vision Relief and Development, Incorporated

World Vision Relief and Development (WVRD), Inc., or Vision, provides cash, gifts inkind, services in-kind, and technical resources for large-scale relief and rehabilitation and development projects in over 90 countries throughout the world. Development programs include child survival, vitamin A, prosthetics and handicap rehabilitation, child development, and AIDS prevention and education.


The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is formed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The statutes of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement give the movement other tasks in situations not covered by the Geneva Conventions.

International Committee of the Red Cross

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works for the faithful application of the provisions of international humanitarian law that applies in armed conflicts and undertakes the tasks incumbent upon it under this law. ICRC is an independent organization based in Geneva. It derives its mandate from the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the additional protocols of 1977. Although at times it may get involved in strictly humanitarian operations, its mandate is to function only during armed conflict.

ICRC neutrality is a vital aspect of its involvement in any relief operations. The ICRC protects it neutrality in terms of reality and perception because it operates on all sides of a dispute to protect victims of armed conflict, to include internal disturbances and tension. ICRC neutrality is a key consideration for military planners and operators.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The member organizations are the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that normally operate within the borders of their own country. Their mandate is to provide humanitarian relief during disasters. Red Cross organizations may provide assistance to other federation members through their international alliance provisions. The basic considerations for planners is to remember that these organizations also go the great length to preserve their neutrality.

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