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Series of large scale disasters, from a refugee crisis to famine or an environmental disaster such as the current tsunami, create the necessity for cooperation between nongovernmental aid organizations and the military. The coordination of these two parties (so inherently dissimilar in their structure and mission) creates a series of unique operational challenges. In the example of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan, such challenges include the provision of adequate security for those with non combatant status, the neutrality of humanitarian work, and the constant necessity to re-evaluate mutual goals. This novel partnership may strive to overcome such challenges through extensive planning and exercises during non conflict periods, as well as a continued commitment to dialogue between parties. Such preparedness as well as a shared commitment to the greater humanitarian needs will allow this partnership to garner the greatest success.

Originally published in: In Touch, v. 12, no. 2, Winter 2005, pp. 10-11.

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