Deflecting Hurakan: Enhancing DOD and DOS Interagency Hurricane Response Operations in Central America
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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Home to over forty million people and the Panama Canal Authority, Central America serves as a pivotal commercial and energy gateway to the United States. Additionally, Central America stands as a vital U.S. political and security partner in the Western Hemisphere due to historical struggle against communist ideology and its proximity to contentious Latin American countries such as Cuba and Venezuela. Due to the combination of Central Americas hurricane prone geographical location and its underdeveloped capacity to mitigate the effects of natural disasters, Central America has endured magnified levels of disaster hardships, perpetuating economic instability and inciting political volatility. If unchecked, this degraded capacity to mitigate human suffering in the wake of natural disasters such as hurricanes gives rise to greater influence by Cuba or Venezuela, illicit activities such as increased levels of narco-trafficking enterprises, or unsustainable levels of illegal immigration into the United States. Although both the U.S. Agency for International Development USAID and U.S. Southern Command USSOUTHCOM have collaborated for decades to effectively project U.S. relief to Central America to mitigate the effects of hurricanes, opportunities at the U.S. Government USG policy, operational, and tactical levels exist to enhance these collaborative efforts. This research paper will discuss the response roles of the Department of State DoS and Defense DoD in interagency Humanitarian AssistanceDisaster Response HADR operations and will analyze the interagency lessons learned between Hurricanes Mitch and Felix. Based on these aforementioned interagency topics, recommend improvements at the policy, operational, and tactical levels will be asserted. The focus of these recommendations is to enhance USG interagency HADR capabilities while building host nation capacity against the destructive force of Hurakan - the ancient Mayan god of wind and storm.
- Civil Defense
- Military Forces and Organizations