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The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake

The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders

Gary Cecchine
Forrest E. Morgan
Michael A. Wermuth
Timothy Jackson
Agnes Gereben Schaefer
Matthew Stafford
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 112
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  • Book Info
    The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake
    Book Description:

    This report examines how Joint Task Force-Haiti (JTF-Haiti) supported the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in Haiti. It focuses on how JTF-Haiti was organized, how it conducted Operation Unified Response, and how the U.S. Army supported that effort. The analysis includes a review of existing authorities and organizations and explains how JTF-Haiti fit into the U.S. whole-of-government approach and the international response.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8160-5
    Subjects: Environmental Science, History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures and Table
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xx)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxviii)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    The earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 was one of the most devastating natural disasters in recent history, and it occurred in an impoverished country that already faced significant challenges of governance. As Table 1.1 indicates and Figure 1.1 illustrates, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck in the afternoon of January 12 caused the greatest loss of life on record due to an earthquake in the Western Hemisphere and at least the fourth-greatest death toll of any natural disaster in the world in the past 100 years.¹ It collapsed 100,000 structures and damaged 200,000 more, killing more than 316,000 people, injuring...

  9. CHAPTER TWO National Organization and Response
    (pp. 9-30)

    This chapter provides some background information needed to understand the U.S. military’s role in Operation Unified Response. First, it explains how the United States is organized to provide HA/DR in foreign countries. Then it describes how the nation responded to the Haiti earthquake.

    This section describes various presidential documents covering foreign HA/DR and explains the authorities and organizational structures of the principal departments and agencies of the federal government that provide foreign HA/DR—namely, the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and DoD and its components with responsibilities in this arena.¹ For purposes of this chapter, the termauthoritiesrefers to...

  10. CHAPTER THREE The Military Response to the Haiti Earthquake
    (pp. 31-62)

    The response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake was the U.S. military’s largest international humanitarian effort in history. This was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters ever to befall a state in the Western Hemisphere. The suffering it created prompted countries and organizations from all over the world to render assistance to the GoH and Haiti’s citizens. The United States was but one participant in this enormous effort, and DoD was but one element in Washington’s whole-of-government response. That said, the U.S. military was the single-largest contributor in terms of personnel and other capabilities. The U.S. Army, in turn, played...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Findings and Recommendations
    (pp. 63-74)

    By most accounts, the United States’ large and rapid response to the Haiti earthquake was both a direct source of needed assistance to the people of Haiti and a major contribution to the multinational relief effort. The U.S. military played a key role in that response, likely saving many lives and easing the suffering of thousands of victims. Nevertheless, our research indicates that improvements could be made that would reduce the number and severity of challenges that future relief efforts might face when responding to foreign disasters, particularly if the United States is committed to whole-of-government responses to future disasters...

  12. References
    (pp. 75-84)