Political and Military (Mis)Use of Humanitarian Action and Aid: Since the End of the Cold War and the Onset of "the War on Terror"

Since the end of Cold War and especially since the onset of "the War on Terror" under the George W. Bush Administration, the political and militarized character of humanitarian action and aid, which had already long been politicized, has been reinforced. This was observed especially when civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) started to take place in the 1990s. Various actors, including aid recipient governments, local rebel groups, donor governments, and the military-in particular the U.S.
more » ... nt and military-as well as the socalled Islamic "terrorist" organizations have been (mis)using aid and NGOs. As a result, already weak or non-existent humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence are being lost. Divisions of roles between aid workers and military actors have become blurred as the latter are suspected to have morphed into humanitarian aid workers. While a military is involved in combat and simultaneously conducts humanitarian operations, using a "winning hearts and minds strategy," this situation puts at risk both the civilians caught in the conflict and civilian aid agencies. This has led to increased mistrust, fear, suspicion, and insecurity among local recipients towards aid agencies and aid itself, which resulted in aid workers losing access to recipients.
doi:10.14989/218913 fatcat:wncsb3yogfca3bv754tetxrtim