USS Bataan Amphibious Assault Ship (Image: U.S. Navy)
(Via The Brookings Institution)
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the past week have dispatched considerable forces to assist in the ongoing humanitarian operation in the wake of last week’s earthquake in Haiti. Some of the more notable assets include the USS Carl Vinson, a 95,000 ton Nimitz-class aircraft carrier; the USS Bataan Amphibious Assault Ship and corresponding vessels, together carrying a 2,200-member Marine Expeditionary Unit; and the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship with 12 operating rooms and 1000 beds. With Haiti’s primary airfield overwhelmed with traffic, and with the main sea port disabled by the wreckage following the quake, the ability to stage relief efforts at sea has given new impetus to a concept that flourished in the post Cold War 1990s and reached new, heady heights during the early “transformation” years of the Rumsfeld Department of Defense. Sea Basing, despite a recent fall from grace, deserves a fresh look.
[H/T: Information Dissemination]
A new study, The Shrinking Costs of War, produced by the Human Security Report Project at the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University and funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, reveals that nationwide death rates actually fall during the course of most of today’s armed conflicts.
Most significant developments from study:
- The average war today is fought by smaller armies and impacts less territory than conflicts of the Cold War era. Smaller wars mean fewer war deaths and less impact on nationwide mortality rates.
- Dramatic long-term improvements in public health in the developing world have steadily reduced mortality rates in peacetime—and saved countless lives in wartime.
- Major increases in the level, scope, and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance to war-affected populations in countries in conflict since the end of the Cold War have reduced wartime death tolls still further.