Military-Civilian Interactions

by Thomas G. Weiss

Book cover for Military-Civilian Interactions

One of the most important dynamics of the postDCold War period consists of simultaneously downsizing the armed forces and assigning them new roles. As a result, military-civilian humanitarianism_the coming together of military forces and civilian agencies to deal with the human suffering from complex emergencies_is on the rise, despite recent setbacks in Somalia and Bosnia. Is it possible and worthwhile to use the military in conjunction with humanitarian action to thwart violence and mitigate civilian suffering? This timely book seeks to answer this question by looking at the contemporary context and history of military-civilian interactions, developing a framework for assessing military costs and civilian benefits, and examining in depth the five most prominent cases_Northern Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Haiti. It further suggests how multilateral military operations could expand or contract in the future to the benefit or peril of war victims.

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