Reaction and Inattention Within the US Government

Arthur C. Helton

in The Price of Indifference

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199250318
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599477 | DOI:
 Reaction and Inattention Within the US Government

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As evidenced in US government responses to humanitarian emergencies over the past decade, humanitarian considerations are often not taken into account sufficiently in military and political planning processes. Kosovo was a prime example. The status quo is not an optimal basis for promoting US humanitarian interests. Bureaucratic turf wars and a long‐standing debate between the developed and developing countries on questions of intervention and national sovereignty have politicized and slowed effective humanitarian action, causing donor countries to turn away from formal multi‐lateral structures. To more effectively discharge US government functions in the humanitarian field and to more effectively coordinate policy, a new separate civilian agency —an Agency for Humanitarian Action (AHA)—is proposed.

Keywords: developed countries; developing countries; humanitarian action; humanitarian emergencies; Kosovo; multilateralism; national sovereignty; policy coordination; turf wars; US government

Chapter.  11913 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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