Archive

Future directions in civil-military responses to natural disasters

Abstract Over the last ten years natural disasters affected  more than 2.4 billion people—the equivalent of one-third of the earth’s population—and they have wrought over$910 billion in damages—equivalent to approximately 18 percent of global GDP. Natural disasters affect not only individuals and communities but also economies, governments and the international system. The 373 natural disasters recorded by the International Disaster Database EM-DAT in 2010 affected some 300 million people from all regions: 300 000 lost their lives and many more suffered injuries, family separation and other trauma. Sudden-onset disasters displaced 42 million people from their homes and caused $108.5 billion in economic losses. Ninety-two per cent of the disasters in 2010 were climate-related. The number of disasters has increased in recent decades—from about 100 to 150 a year in the early 1980’s to an annual average of 392 during the 2000 to 2009 decade. Downloads View this publication on Academia.edu

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Rebuilding war-torn states: tomorrow’s challenges for post-conflict reconstruction

Abstract In the aftermath of the Arab Spring and regime change in many countries, with South Sudan joining the international community as an independent state, and with countries as far apart as Afghanistan, Liberia and Haiti obviously ‘off track’ in their efforts to rebuild their war-torn or disaster-affected communities, it seems a perfect time to review and re-assess policies, strategies and civilian-military interactions for the transition to stability and sustainable peace. Downloads View this publication on Academia.edu

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Civil-military interaction and the future of humanitarian action

Abstract This paper is structured into three (3) parts: a brief update on the evaluation of the humanitarian enterprise in the past 10 years lesson from civil-military interaction in the three recent crises what we can expect in the years to 2020. Downloads View this publication on Academia.edu

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Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality

Abstract It is natural for policy makers, public officials and even think tanks to focus primarily on violent conflicts that are already occurring. With people being killed daily and horrific images being shown in real time across the globe, today’s conflicts simply cannot be ignored. Yet what about tomorrow’s conflicts, those we can envisage but that are not inevitable? Today there is broad agreement on the importance of preventive action. An array of actors—the United Nations, regional organisations, national governments (including that of the United States) and a host of civil society bodies—have identified preventing violent conflict as a strategic priority. As the Obama administration’s National Security Strategy states, ‘The untold loss of human life, suffering, and property damage that results from armed conflict necessitates that all responsible nations work to prevent it’. This is well put, although it might be asked, ‘Do “all responsible nations” treat the prevention of armed conflict as a “necessity”?’ It is undeniable that far too often the answer is ‘no’. The fundamental challenge is to narrow the gap between rhetoric and reality, proclamations and actions, in preventing violent conflict. Downloads View this publication on Academia.edu

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Disaster response: lessons from Christchurch

Abstract Lying in New Zealand’s Canterbury Region, Christchurch is a city of about 400 000 people. It is the nation’s second largest city and the South Island’s largest. Although it is mainly on flat land, there are hilly suburbs between the port of Lyttelton and the city itself. At 4.35 am on 4 September 2010 Canterbury suffered an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale, on the previously unknown Greendale fault line. A local state of emergency was declared that morning, and Christchurch’s central business district was closed to the general public. The New Zealand Army was deployed to help in the worst affected areas of the city. Despite this being a very serious earthquake, no lives were lost. About 5 per cent of the city had been damaged, mostly infrastructure. But this turned out to be only the beginning: on 26 December a 4.9 magnitude aftershock caused further damage, mainly in the CBD. No state of emergency was declared for this event, and nor were any lives lost. Then, at 12.51 pm on 22 February 2011, Christchurch suffered a shallow 6.3 magnitude quake 10 kilometres east of the city centre. Again, this was on a previously unknown fault line, and…

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