CSIS Video: The Future of U.S. Navy Humanitarian Assistance


As we enter a period of budgetary contraction and debate over military spending, and consider the remarkable humanitarian contributions of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and elsewhere, the time is ripe for a thoughtful, analytic, and nonpartisan study of American naval medical diplomacy, with strategic and realistic recommendations for its future.

On June 4, CSIS launched an independent task force of experts, chaired by former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead, to study the value of the U.S. Navy’s proactive humanitarian assistance; to examine the Navy’s capacity for such missions in the future; to review the history and evolution of policy and programs in this area; to forecast the demands on military medicine and humanitarian missions in an age of new technologies and evolving threats to global health; and to inform a sensible, long-term strategy for naval medical diplomacy going forward.

The June 4 event provided a brief explanation of the genesis, purpose, work plan, and expected products of this CSIS task force. We then turned to a lively roundtable discussion, led by Dr. John Hamre, that will put a spotlight on the U.S. Navy’s soft power tools and the evolving importance of its humanitarian missions as U.S. foreign policy pivots toward Asia and the Pacific.

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