Applying Tactical Resources Against Strategic Challenges: The Ethical Pitfalls of MEDCAPs as an Instrument of National Policy
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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In 2009, the revised DOD Instruction 3000.05 emphasized that stability operations are a core U.S. military mission equivalent in priority to combat operations. One tool available to combatant commanders to support this mission is the medical civic assistance program MEDCAP. MEDCAP missions are essential in maintaining a forward presence of U.S. armed forces to promote the security interests of the United States during peacetime. The present design of MEDCAP missions violates many ethical principles by providing little long-term health benefits to the local populations, thus making it an ineffective tool to enhance regional stability and security. The lack of focus of these missions in reference to factors time and force could serve to undermine the benefits of these missions and prove counterproductive to theater strategic goals. Future MEDCAP missions should be structured around the principles of ownership, capacity building, and sustainability to enhance the host nation governments ability to provide long-term health care to its populace. By more effectively utilizing its military medical assets, the United States could forge the partnerships it seeks to ensure regional stability and security and ultimately achieve its national strategic objective of increased security for the United States.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics