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?
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