Inderscience Publishers

Understanding military decisions and actions in humanitarian assistance operations

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In large-scale humanitarian crises, it is common to encounter military forces as well as civilian agencies and nongovernmental organisations providing relief services. The military-civilian interface is often frustrating for all actors and viewed as problematic by both military officers and their civilian counterparts from the humanitarian response community. This paper describes the doctrine-driven military staff processes used by military organisations while conducting humanitarian assistance operations. It highlights areas in which civilian agencies and the military forces can improve their coordination. Considerations are presented for both the military and humanitarian response organisations to modify their actions in order to achieve greater shared situation awareness.

Keywords: assessment, CMCOORD, civil military coordination, CIMIC, civil military cooperation, CMOC, civil military operations centre, collections, coordination, doctrine, humanitarian assistance, operations, planning, process, targeting, situation awareness, staff, military decision making.

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