Militaries around the world are increasingly tasked with complex humanitarian missions that extend beyond their traditional role. Such missions include development, diplomacy, stability, and peacekeeping operations, and often entail long-term engagements with civilian populations in conflict or disaster zones.
Robert Albro, Assistant Professor at American University, and Bill Ivey, Principal in Global Cultural Strategies, have just edited a book titled Cultural Awareness in the Military (November: Palgrave Macmillan) which discusses the developments and implications for future humanitarian cooperation that involve military forces.
Today, the EU has confirmed that it will support the wider region of the Horn of Africa with a total of €3 billion until 2020.
As one of the most important investors in the previously unified Sudan and now in the independent South Sudan, China has displayed what is by its standards unprecedented diplomatic activism to support the peace talks in Addis Ababa, mainly through its contribution to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and active mediation efforts.
Aircraft from the United States, Australia, France and Britain on Saturday dropped humanitarian supplies to the Iraqi town of Amerli, which has been under siege by "Islamic State" jihadist militants for almost two months, the US Pentagon says. In a statement, Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said the airdrop, made at the request of the Iraqi government, had been supported by US airstrikes on the besieging militants.
In a matter of days, Europe's leaders have dropped the early assessment that the crisis in Iraq was principally humanitarian. Germany has agreed to ship weapons to the Kurds. Italy, too, stands ready to send machine-guns and anti-tank rockets. So, as a first step, Europe's four largest nations have decided to put their confidence in the Kurds even if it eventually increases the chance they will push for a state of their own.
Australia will reserve more than 2,000 places in its refugee program for Syrians, at the same time as it tries to return Syrians held in offshore detention to the country the immigration minister describes as “in the midst of a terrible conflict”. Syrian refugees will have 2,200 places set aside within the Special Humanitarian Program (SHP), which takes in refugees who can prove they already have a connection to Australia.