Monday, January 31, 2005

Tsunami Relief - The State As Key Actor Vindicated

Something struck me yesterday, namely the fact that criticisms of the US's handling of Tsunami relief (ie. bypassing the UN) have fallen off the radar completely.

Well, nothing succeeds like success.

In this post I argued that we should judge by results and I think in retrospect the USA has won handsomely. US naval forces took a key role, with the immediate dispatch of an entire carrier battle group to help distribute aid and all in all it seems to have gone well. US forces remain in the area and are helping with post-disaster planning (this is, of course, a long term problem in spite of the fact that it has predictably fallen of the broadcast news media priority list). I am not aware of any recipients of aid alleging that the United States lacked the "moral authority" to give them food and medicine and helicopter them to safety. I think it's probably fair to judge that what we have seen over the past month has been an admirable case of a large bureaucratic middle man being cut out of the loop.

And it's one in the eye for Clare Short, always a good thing.

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