Afghanistan's military-humanitarian complex
in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
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This chapter builds on the structure first presented in Chapter 3 where the findings are presented relating to the basic and underlying causes of tension within the humanitarian-military relationship and the underlying policy issue (whether humanitarians should have an integrated or segregated policy toward the military). These are decision-making and external relationships related to structure and agency, co-option and politicization of aid groups as an extension of ethical norms and the link between security and development. Five particular aspects stand out here. First, the inter-organizational friction present in relations between humanitarians and the military does not necessarily contribute to negative relations. Second, official policies of aid groups rarely determine the path of humanitarian-military relationships; instead, they are dependent on the agency of specific individuals. Third, the relationship humanitarians have with the military has less of an impact on humanitarian security than is commonly held. Fourth, humanitarian principles were important to most organizations working in Afghanistan but they were heavily influenced by the politically charged environment. Finally, humanitarians understood that they are part of the stability and state-building process in Afghanistan and, for that reason, those issues relating to co-option and politicization are less significant than is commonly assumed.

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