U.S. Policy Roadmap for Meeting the Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) Challenge During Great Power Competition
This paper proposes a policy roadmap for U.S. decision-makers that steers the HA/DR aspect of the strategic competition with China towards a positive outcome. The PRC is expanding its global interests, significantly growing its HA/DR resources and experience, and demonstrating increasing interest in projecting influence through humanitarian operations. The PRC’s emergence represents a significant opportunity for the positive advancement of global HA/DR capabilities. However, the PRC is also demonstrating a trend of disregarding established international humanitarian principles that could have serious implications for the future if they remain unchallenged. Given that HA/DR operations often sit at the competitive seam between the PRC and the U.S., these operations carry outsize risk and require careful thought and preparation. Building on their 2021 study, “China and the Future of HA/DR Operations in Great Power Competition,” the authors (Robin Watters (U.S Naval War College affiliated expert and retired U.S. Navy rear admiral) and Alexander Triplett (U.S. Army Major)) answer the question that the first paper raised.