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Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Abstract

U.S. participation in the global response to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) was compelled by both humanitarian concerns and strategic interests. U.S. action can be understood as a product of domestic and global discourse, historical milieu, logistical factors, and domestic political determinants highlighting the importance of Asia and the Pacific in U.S. foreign policy. Consistent with previous engagements, it is apparent in this case that humanitarian concerns aligned with strategic interests in shaping the extent of U.S. involvement. Our examination begins with a conceptualizing the determining factors in humanitarian operations. This provides specific focus on the degree with which historical milieu and larger episodes of previous engagements, media coverage and public support, human security and humanitarian concerns, and strategic interests enter into considerations. Our study then applies these concepts to understand the decision-making calculus in Operation Damayan. We conclude that the prevailing literature should focus more on a comprehensive understanding of interactive concepts and dynamic factors that include state actors, norms, domestic determinants, global factors, and historical milieu.

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