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Category: Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief

Oct. 1, 2017

The U.S. Government’s Approach to Food Security: Focus on Campaign Activities

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., stresses the importance of effective cooperation with nonmilitary organizations to promote a common operational framework and allocate critical information and resources. Per his direction, the joint force continues to inquire about and examine the nuances between organizational workforce cultures and methodologies. One area where military and nonmilitary workforce approaches differ is security. This article focuses on an aspect of security known in international circles and endorsed by the United Nations (UN) as human security.1 Threats to human security can be categorized in seven dimensions, one of which is food security.2 Complementing an initial installment on health security also published in Joint Force Quarterly, this article addresses the U.S. Government’s approach to food security with a focus on combatant command campaign activities.

July 1, 2016

A Way Ahead for DOD Disaster Preparedness

On October 8, 2005, I was just 6 weeks into my assignment coordinating with the Pakistani military to keep the air logistics routes open through Pakistan into Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and to coordinate coalition, Afghan, and Pakistani border operations. It was a pretty average deployment. That changed at 0850 local time. First, I heard a sound like a freight train and then the building began to rock like a cork bobbing, and the ground beneath us was acting more like liquid than solid, with visible ripples moving toward us. The ground continued to move for what seemed like forever, and one of my Pakistani friends asked me, “Is this the end of the world?” I answered, “No,” but his question did give me pause. Finally, after almost 6 minutes, the noise subsided and the ground stopped moving. I did not know it at the time, but I had just experienced one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Pakistan. According to one source, the “shallow earthquake registered a 7.6 magnitude on the Richter scale.” The earthquake “epicenter was located approximately 19 km north-northeast of the city of Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir,” and “100 km north-northeast of Islamabad.”

July 1, 2016

The U.S. Pacific Command Response to Super Typhoon Haiyan

On November 6, 2013, Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) became what many described as the strongest storm on record to make landfall. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Haiyan had winds of up to 200 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 225 miles per hour. Haiyan affected 9 out of the 17 regions in the Philippines. With over $86 million in total U.S. assistance, the U.S. military response efforts comprised more than 13,400 military personnel, 66 aircraft, and 12 naval vessels, which delivered over 2,495 tons of relief supplies and evacuated more than 21,000 people. More than 1,300 flights were completed in support of the relief effort, delivering goods and services to approximately 450 sites. As of July 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) estimated that a total of 16 million people were affected by Haiyan.

Jan. 1, 2016

Separate and Equal: Building Better Relationships with the International Humanitarian Community

In today’s complex global landscape, understanding and taking the opportunities to build peace to prevent war are increasingly paramount if a stable and sustainable world is to be realized. As such, we need to sharpen the focus of the roles the military and the humanitarian assistance community have in this important call to action and, at the least, determine what each side needs to know about the other. This is especially true if we are to find those intersections and circumstances where the military and the humanitarian assistance community are able to work together and to recognize those where they cannot. Toward this goal, this article reviews the identity, principles, and culture of the humanitarian community, what it expects from military forces, and what it wants the military to consider when it is planning health engagement. Additionally, approaches and methods for constructive interaction between the military and community forces are proposed.