U.S. Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Humanitarian Relief in Complex Emergencies

By Andrew S. Natsios | Go to book overview

8
On Strategy

This concluding chapter addresses strategy: its definition, design, and implementation. Is a comprehensive strategy needed for each complex humanitarian emergency, or should the actors pursue their own independent courses? What strategic options have been used by policymakers for dealing with the political crises in complex emergencies? How do humanitarian operations affect these political strategies? What are the humanitarian objectives common to most complex emergency responses?


What Is Strategy?

Prescribing general policies for complex humanitarian emergencies with diverse characteristics and causes is a hazardous undertaking. Nevertheless, the characteristics that are common to most of these emergencies enable us to reach some tentative conclusions. In this book, strategy is defined as an integrated set of humanitarian relief, political, security, and economic interventions to return enough stability and normalcy to the society in crisis (1) to reduce morbidity and mortality rates to their prechaos level and (2) to make it marginally self-sufficient. Strategy does not necessarily have to include the reestablishment of national government, although it is preferable because it increases the likelihood for long-term stability. It does not mean reconstructing an entire society or remaking every country in crisis into

-140-

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U.S. Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Humanitarian Relief in Complex Emergencies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xiii
  • About the Author xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Introduction xix
  • 1 - Anatomy of a Complex Humanitarian Emergency 1
  • 2 - Complex Humanitarian Emergencies and the U.S. National Interest 19
  • 3 - The Bureaucratic Politics of Disasters 33
  • 4 - Nongovernmental Organizations 56
  • 5 - The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross 76
  • 6 - The U.S. Military and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies 105
  • 7 - The Policy Influence of the News Media 124
  • 8 - On Strategy 140
  • Conclusion: The Problem of Political Will 169
  • Notes 173
  • Bibliography 180
  • Index 185
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