Armed Humanitarians

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nathan Hodge looks at how our failure to establish peace in Iraq prompted a fundamental change in our foreign policy: shifting the U.S. military’s focus to counterinsurgency and the rebuilding of failed states. In less than a decade, foreign assistance has become militarized, and humanitarianism has been armed. Armed Humanitarians: The Rise of the Nation Builders follows this experiment in armed social work from Afghanistan and Iraq to Africa and Haiti.


Nathan Hodge

Comments [2]

mike kim war vet from Manhattan, NY

Nathan Hodge has some great points:

1. Self determination of civil populace vs. foreign military control of nationbuilding. He seems to favor the civil population.

2. Nation building via low impact military operations to deal with the warring environment.

3. That there is complexity in counter-insurgency warfare.

My Commentary: "The FEBA (Forward Edge Battle Area) flows without set lines, but an expansive/examined humanitarian ethic infused into the FEBA would provide an authentic "Face of Battle" to Commanders and Troops.

Feb. 21 2011 12:43 PM
mike kim war vet from manhattan, NY

I served as a (tactical) civil affairs operator in the Triangle of Death, Babil Province. I assisted the Human Terrain Team in my Area of Operations. Ironically, Nathan Hodge mentions Kosovo as small scale. He should point out General Shinseki's balance in using kinetic and non-kinetic operations in the war zone to sucessfully assist the diverse groups and rebuild infrastructure. Revisiting Civil Military Operations Kosovo would be a good thing. In Kosovo, Civil Affairs under Special Operations Command conducted a very successful rebuilding campaign with Special Forces. Civil Affairs is not armed social work. This is a less than ethical use of words. Civil Affairs is a tactical element but with a force multiplier role, including humanitarian Assistance. Civil Affairs has about 8 primary roles that go in conflict with direct social work practice, For more information Google "Rawan and Michael Kim."

* Please understand that I promote Nathan Hodge's work. Another author to check out is Rob Schultheis. He wrote Waging Peace.

Feb. 21 2011 12:22 PM

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