Humanitarian Affairs Key to Future Wars

Humanitarian Affairs Key to Future Wars

Photo by: U.S. Navy

Great-power competition remains a top priority for the U.S., but humanitarian affairs and underlying issues such as the impact of high-intensity warfare on civilians still need attention, one author argues.

In “Humanitarian Assistance and Future War,” a new paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army as part of its Landpower Essay Series, author Lt. Col. Jim Cahill urges readers to think about the relationship between military and humanitarian affairs and its impact on future operations.

While defense experts recognize the importance of humanitarian issues, Cahill writes, the military-humanitarian relationship is often framed in distinct and conflicting ways.

The ambiguity surrounding this relationship can cause coordination and communication to suffer, he writes.

Cahill says defense experts should know practical aspects of these affairs and determine how to approach the humanitarian-military relationship.

“With improved situational understanding of the impact that military force has on civilians, and the ways in which the U.S. government operates to mitigate this impact, U.S. defense practitioners can better support the generation of sustainable strategic outcomes,” Cahill writes.

Read the full paper here.