DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1782-5.ch001
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This chapter provides an overview of the complex humanitarian interventions from a Western perspective by examining the scenarios that are associated with the Afghan war, and its surrounding policy dilemmas. There are many ways for the world community to respond to a troubled region. Each of these responses has its own set of consequences and none is without problems. The costs, both in monetary terms and human life, can be quite high. Often, several different approaches are taken simultaneously by different governmental and nongovernmental organizations. The question posed is whether these action are more effective if they are integrated, and what form this integration should take.
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The international community has become more attuned to the number of complex humanitarian issues developing throughout the world (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 52/167, 1998). This is particularly true in parts of the developing world where civil war or some other driver of civil strife overwhelms the region’s capacity for emergency response. When this occurs, the international community feels obligated to act as stated in a series of Guiding Principles contained within the United Nations General Assembly resolution 46/182 (1992):

The magnitude and duration of many emergencies may be beyond the response capacity of many affected countries. International cooperation to address emergency situations and to strengthen the response capacity of affected countries is thus of great importance. … Intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations working impartially and with strictly humanitarian motives should continue to make a significant contribution in supplementing national efforts. … There is a clear relationship between emergency, rehabilitation and development. In order to ensure a smooth transition from relief to rehabilitation and development, emergency assistance should be provided in ways that will be supportive of recovery and long-term development. (Annex, p. 50)


Main Focus Of The Chapter

For this study, the statement above is the operationalized definition of stability: the effort to address complex humanitarian emergencies in a way that supplements and rebuilds the receiving nation’s capacity to take care of its citizens. This international effort can include, but is not limited to providing security and development aid, assisting with the establishment or reestablishment of the rule of law and governance, as well as humanitarian assistance.

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