Disaster and Intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa: Learning from Rwanda

  • September 01, 1994
  • Dr Steven Metz

Rwanda's horrific civil war suggests that human disasters requiring outside intervention will remain common in Sub-Saharan Africa. The American people want a prompt and effective response to human disasters when the United States becomes involved. The Army is taking steps to enhance its demonstrated effectiveness at such operations. Steven Metz examines the policy and strategy implications of violence-induced human disasters in Sub-Saharan Africa with special emphasis on Rwanda. The author argues that our senior military leaders, policymakers and strategists must better understand the African security environment. He also warns that to avoid overtaxing the military, U.S. objectives in African disaster relief must be limited. This combination of limited policy goals and operational efficiency will allow the U.S. military to serve public demands at a minimal cost to its other efforts.