This publication provides joint doctrine for the planning and conduct of civil-military operations (CMO) by joint forces, the use of civil affairs forces, the conduct of civil affairs operations, and the coordination with other capabilities contributing to the execution of CMO to achieve unified action. At the strategic, operational and tactical levels and across the full range of military operations, civil-military operations (CMO) are a primary military instrument to synchronize military and nonmilitary instruments of national power, particularly in support of stability, counterinsurgency and other operations dealing with “asymmetric” and “irregular” threats. Potential challenges include ethnic and religious conflict, cultural and socioeconomic differences, terrorism and insurgencies, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international organized crime, incidental and deliberate population migration, environmental degradation, infectious diseases, and sharpening competition/exploitation of dwindling natural resources. Opportunities, conversely, include the integration and comprehensive use of intergovernmental, regional, national, and local governmental and nongovernmental and private sector organizations, which have proliferated in number, variety, and capability. Recent policy initiatives, national security, military strategies, and military doctrine demonstrate a growing appreciation of the need to leverage more nonmilitary instruments of national power, reposed in the interagency process and the private sector, entailing a more holistic, and balance strategy. This publication has been prepared under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It sets forth joint doctrine to govern the activities and performance of the Armed Forces of the United States in joint operations and provides the doctrinal basis for interagency coordination and for US military involvement in multinational operations. It provides military guidance for the exercise of authority by combatant commanders and other joint for commanders (JFCs) and prescribes joint doctrine for operations, education, and training. It provides military guidance for use by the Armed Forces in preparing their appropriate plans. It is not the intent of this publication to restrict the authority of the JFC from organizing the force and executing the mission in a manner the JFC deems most appropriate to ensure unity of effort in the accomplishment of the overall objective. Joint doctrine established in this publication applies to the joint staff, commanders of combatant commands, subunified commands, joint task forces, subordinate components of these command, and the Services. The guidance in this publication is authoritative; as such, this doctrine will be followed except when, in the judgment of the commander, exceptional circumstances dictate otherwise. If conflicts arise between the contents of this publication and the contents of Service publications, this publication will take precedence unless the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, normally in coordination with the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has provided more current and specific guidance. Commanders of forces operating as part of a multinational (alliance or coalition) military command should follow multinational doctrine and procedures ratified by the United States. For doctrine and procedures not ratified by the United States, commanders should evaluate and follow the multinational command’s doctrine and procedures, where applicable and consistent with US law, regulations, and doctrine.