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2. Civil-Military Cooperation

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Chapter Summary

The tasks of military forces in humanitarian assistance can be divided into three groups involving different degrees of overlap. First, military forces can foster a climate of security for civilian populations and humanitarian organisations. The second group of tasks is composed of activities to support the work of humanitarian organisations. This involves the provision of technical or logistical support such as transport and basic infrastructure work. Third, the military can provide direct assistance to those in need. These activities are often referred to as civic action. The organisation structures of military and the humanitarian organisations are for the most part polar opposites. Military institutions place a high value on command and control, top-down hierarchical organisational structures, and clear lines of authority, discipline, and accountability. Effective communication between civil authorities, humanitarian organisations, population, and the military is vital to develop trust and common understanding in the cooperation behaviour of the partners.

Keywords: civilian populations; humanitarian assistance; military forces

10.1163/ej.9789004163270.i-253.15
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