The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State (DoS) published their Joint Strategic Plan: FY 2018-2022 in February of 2018 with a goal to promote American leadership through balanced engagement. While the plan seeks to “transition nations from assistance recipients to enduring diplomatic, economic, and security partners,” it is unclear whether continued use of military instruments of national power are furthering this goal. This seminar explores select case studies of U.S. military humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and related security engagement in the Indo-Pacific since the UN General Assembly (GA) resolution 46/182 in 1991. The goal of this seminar is to explore whether the U.S. is diffusing its regional power through assistance, or is instead enhancing its regional advantage. The Indo-Pacific region is one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world, with frequently occurring natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical storms, flooding, landslides, and volcanic eruptions affecting millions of people every year. The Indo-Pacific has 36 UN member countries and an additional 16 countries and territories totaling over three billion people. In accordance with UN GA resolution 46/182, nations conduct regional cooperation for enhanced emergency preparedness and response. U.S. military foreign humanitarian assistance (FHA) and foreign disaster relief (FDR) operations are normally conducted in support of the USAID or DoS. FHA activities include foreign disaster relief (FDR) and other activities that directly address a humanitarian need. FHA operations can be supported by other activities conducted by U.S. military forces or they may be conducted concurrently with other types of related operations and activities such as dislocated civilian support, security operations, and foreign consequence management.
IAP. Contemporary Military Topics. Pacific Security Engagement (MIT students, staff, faculty and affiliates only)
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army
January 30, 2019
Building E40-496 (Pye Room)