Civil-Military Relations in Humanitarian Operations

Mike Hess, Assistant Administrator, US Agency for International
Development, and Roy Williams, President, Center for Humanitarian
Cooperation, will join us for a discussion on civil-military relations
in humanitarian operations, drawing on the experiences of Provincial
Reconstruction Teams and the lessons from Afghanistan. Since 9/11 the
US military has become increasingly involved in humanitarian
operations, particularly in Afghanistan, as it attempts to win hearts
and minds by establishing Provincial Reconstruction Teams and
emphasizing the work of Civil Affairs. However, these innovations have
sometimes complicated the work of NGOs and aid workers which is based
on the premise of independence and neutrality. These confused
environments pose serious challenges in terms of providing security,
planning, assessment and coordination between NGOs, aid organizations
and the military. What role should the military play in humanitarian
operations? Can joint civil-military efforts be developed without
compromising the value-added each brings to the process? How can we
expand these lessons to apply to future civil-military operations and
build integrated responses?

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