Reconstruction and Stability Ops
Several Bloggers have described the value of simple solutions for complex problems. Last summer, at the STRONG ANGEL III Humanitarian Relief Exercise in San Diego, I met Vinay Gupta. Vinay has the complexion of a south-central Asian, and the voice of a Scottish Highlander. His innovation, the Hexayurt, is another great innovation to provide rapid, relevant relief to people in need:
Vinay is addressing the most overlooked element of Maslow's Hierarchy of Need: the middle tier of "Affiliation".
While many focus on the bottom tiers (food & shelter; security), and post-modernist look at the top (esteem and actualization), the quickest path to stability is by allowing people to preserve their own affiliations.
The irony is that the relief mechanisms of the world do not allow this. The U.N. drops a 100-lb. bag of rice, and the refugee camp grows where the sustenance is delivered. This creates a spiral of disaffect that creates greater security challenges, and delays the restoration of stability.
A better approach, like those postulated by Vinay, is to provide people the means of achieving the lower tiers of Maslow's hierarchy -- while also preserving their native affiliations.