The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders


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Haiti Is in the Streets

Golf courses, public parks, even highway medians filled with tents.

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Three years later, more than tent camps remain in the Port-au-Prince area. These camps pose serious hardships for those still living in them, with no electricity, no sewers, no roads, and no amenities, according to Perito. The camps had new tents, free food, bottled water, and in many cases world-class medical care thanks to the legions of doctors who flew to Haiti. The quality of life. Residents of the camps who had resources could either rebuild their homes or find new places to rent and move on.

The U.S. Military Response to the Haiti Earthquake : Gary Cecchine :

Others were resettled to locations far from the city where there are no jobs and few amenities. In many cases, however, people left their names on the camp registers in the hope that they would be resettled in a better house or receive some other benefit.

But it would require urban planning and resolution of the problem of missing land registration titles. No more than 15 percent of the land in Haiti is registered, and resettlement efforts have been hampered by the fact that nobody knows who owns the land. If someone clears a piece of land, squatters often arrive. If someone builds on a piece of land, people often show up with forged documents claiming they own the land. The current government program is to clear six areas in the capital city, mostly former parks and open spaces. To provide people with an incentive to leave the camps, the government has been offering to pay their rent for a year.

The government also has been sending armed forces to clear the camps. But with few provisions for resettlement, people forced out of camps often just move to other camps.

Further complicating the post-earthquake recovery is the cholera epidemic, which began a year after the earthquake. Cholera was not seen in Haiti until , and it appears to have arrived with a group of UN peacekeeping troops from Nepal, although the United Nations has not admitted responsibility for introducing the disease into the country.

Cities have no water systems or sewer systems; Haitians use streams and other untreated water sources for their drinking water, for bathing, for laundry, and for other bodily functions, often in the same place. Tent camp populations are especially vulnerable because of a lack of clean water, adequate latrines, and medical care. Cholera is a waterborne disease, and spreads during the heavy rains of the hurricane season. The response of the international community to the cholera outbreak has been inadequate, Perito said.

The International Organization for Migration announced that it had distributed 10, cholera kits, which contain. But with more than camps in Haiti, the vast majority has not received the kits. The international community also has been building temporary clinics, distributing soap and bottled water and treating cases that come to their facilities. But these are short-term responses that do not address the basic problems of people living in the camps.

According to Perito, Haiti needs a comprehensive plan for health care delivery in both urban and rural areas. But because of a lack of jobs, education, and health care, people continue to leave the countryside and move into the camps around Port-au-Prince.

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Finally, Perito looked at the problem of gender-based violence. Many women living in the camps are alone, having lost their families. The camps offer no privacy or physical protection, and the police presence is minimal if it exists at all. Historically, the slums of Port-au-Prince have been a locale for crimes, gangs, kidnapping, and random violence.

Denaturalizing “natural” disasters: Haiti’s earthquake and the humanitarian impulse

In the UN military cracked down on the gangs, arresting their leaders and putting members in prison, but some of these criminals escaped when prison guards abandoned their posts at the time of the earthquake. Most of them remain at large, living in the camps, where they have resumed their activities. Efforts have focused on making the camps safer, counseling women on how to avoid attacks, caring for rape victims, improving lighting, and increasing camp patrols. All of these are useful and help in the short term, Perito said, but they do not solve the basic problem of living in a tent in the camps.

Recent history has had no shortage of large-scale natural disasters in Southeast Asia. In December , a tsunami ravaged the northwest coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, killing more than , people and leaving nearly 10 million homeless. It remains one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in modern history. Within two days, the United States military stood up Operation Unified Assistance to respond to the crisis. The U.

On the ground with U.S. military dispensing hurricane aid in Haiti

In November , Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines , resulting in nearly 7, casualties. It was the largest typhoon ever to hit the country.

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The United States responded in less than two days, deploying troops and delivering relief aid and supplies to affected areas. Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. It has been actively engaged in domestic HADR efforts since its inception in In a country where flooding, drought and earthquakes have occurred with relative frequency for centuries, the PLA has become adept at reacting to these events.

Historically viewed as a sideline task of the army, the PLA now classifies natural disasters as a non-traditional security threat. The 7. The first government response team was deployed to the area within the first 14 minutes after the quake hit. Within a week, the PLA had deployed more than , troops to the affected area, equipped with helicopters, communication equipment, cranes and power generators.

The rescue efforts were covered extensively on China Central Television CCTV and showcased a capable, quick-responding, and well-equipped military.

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During the Haiti earthquake crisis in , the Chinese government was also quick to respond; donating millions of dollars in cash aid, in addition to providing a search-and-rescue team, medicines and medical staff and equipment, power generators, water purifiers, as well as tents and clothing. Engaging in joint exercises does not pose a threat to national security, and China assuming more responsibility in this area would alleviate some of the financial and military burden overwhelmingly borne by the United States.

It would allow the U. In times of disaster, the U. I am also grateful to Gavin Arbuckle and three anonymous referees for their helpful comments. Interviewees, referred to as respondents herein, included personnel across employee grades and ranks. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Evaluation of the Global Peace and Security Fund. Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

The Stabilization and Reconstruction Programs Division IRG provides guidance, direction, and horizontal coordination along geographic and thematic lines. Whereas DND works in three levels — strategic, operational, and tactical, with relative decentralization as one moves from one level to the next-centralization of decision-making is more common in DFAIT. While DND may favor short-term solutions for humanitarian action, CIDA's concerns span the spectrum between addressing immediate humanitarian response, early recovery and long term development.

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The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders

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