This report examines issues confronting the U.S. Army and the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) in providing medical support for "operations other than war" (OOTW)--a broad range of missions including peacekeeping, peace enforcement, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and nation assistance, among others. In this study we deal specifically with providing medical support for peace and humanitarian operations. Such operations often impose heavy demands on the United States for medical personnel, equipment and supplies, patient evacuation, and other scarce health care resources. It is important, therefore, for the Army to understand the nature of these demands and strategies for dealing with them, given the increasing frequency of OOTW since the end of the Cold War.
This report reviews U.S. military medical experience with several recent OOTW, focusing primarily on the UNPROFOR mission in the Balkans and the operation in Somalia. It identifies the special features of the medical support in such operations (as distinct from support of combat operations) and issues unique to supporting a multinational force as part of a coalition. It also suggests steps that the Army, the other military services, and the U.S. government could take to improve our ability to respond to such operations, to limit the demands that they may impose, and to minimize their impact on the Army's readiness mission and on peacetime health care delivery. The findings of this study will be of interest not only to the Army and the AMEDD, but also to the other military Surgeons General and medical departments.
This research was sponsored by The U.S. Army Surgeon General, as part of a project on future Army medical structure. It was conducted in the Manpower and Training Program of RAND's Arroyo Center, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army.