January 06, 2005

Non-Military Disaster Relief

Petrified Truth quotes Mark Steyn:

That's what you need: an operational infrastructure for long-distance emergencies or, in a word, a military. If you don't have a functioning military, it doesn't matter how caring you profess to be.

This isn't Steyn's major point but I think that a larger issue is lost in the glancing treatment. Yes, militaries can be good at this sort of thing and certainly the UN is not an acceptable alternative unless you like increasing body counts and a dash of rape and pedophilia thrown in. But it doesn't follow that the military is the best that we can do. I'd submit that we can do better and we will do better in future, if only because the end of military great power competition has and will continue to reduce the available power projection assets that militaries around the world will have at their command (at least until Pax Americana crumbles).

Even if world governments don't quite get it this time, they'll get it in some future disaster as the dynamic plays out over the years and even less can be done with military assets. Hopefully it'll be caught proactively and this is one lesson that can be learned without an attached death toll.

Posted by TMLutas at January 6, 2005 09:04 PM