Humanitarian Assistance and Future War

March 9, 2020

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The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) prioritizes strategic competition with China and Russia. Consequently, defense practitioners have devoted increasing attention to contemplating future conflict with great-power competitors. Underlying issues that require more attention include the impact that future high-intensity warfare will have on civilians, the roles that international organizations (IOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) will undertake in conflict settings and the implications to the U.S. joint force’s efforts in pursuing future military objectives.

This paper addresses these topics by describing relevant issues in humanitarian affairs. It also identifies useful ways for defense practitioners to think about the relationship between military and humanitarian affairs.

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