The Quandary of Humanitarian Aid in Counter-Terrorism Operations

  • 2015

The Quandary of Humanitarian Aid in Counter-Terrorism Operations

Author:
Peter Menk
Abstract:

This paper discusses the quandary of humanitarian aid by describing the security measures taken and their impact on humanitarian organizations. Additionally, it summarizes the arguments, and concludes with a prediction of the future of humanitarian aid.

There is a dichotomy of international theories, of ‘alternative lenses”, involved in understanding the quandary of humanitarian aid in counter-terrorism operations. Through the lens of realism, security of the state is a priority. Humanitarian aid to relieve human suffering among the populations of people in areas under the control of terrorists is providing material support to those terrorists and a threat to security. States that permit material support to terrorists are, if not directly, at least passively supporting terrorism. Through the lens of liberalism, the freedom to provide neutral and impartial humanitarian aid to relieve human suffering, wherever it is found, is the right thing to do and the right way to do it. In times of violence and warfare, the balance between freedom and security shifts in favor of security, and are best understood through the lens of the realism theory. That shift has occurred in both United Nations Security Council Resolutions and in the domestic laws of the UN member nations. This shift within the United States has had the greatest adverse impact on humanitarian organizations by severely restricting the freedom of humanitarian organizations to act.