19 January 2010

The US Needs to Improve its Reaction Time

OK so Haiti is 700 miles away from the US and the earthquake that hit last week was a big surprise to everyone… however, I still find it very upsetting that the United States could not mobilize more support more quickly. I do not believe that the military, Congress, or anybody else (except maybe Pat Robertson) is intentionally dragging their feet. I think everyone is working as quickly as they can, but the problem is that the US does not have effective mechanisms for responding to humanitarian crises. It’s been more than a week and there are still logistical problems delivering aid. I know that the port in Port-au-Prince has been damaged, and the airport can only handle such much air traffic at a time, and there are issues of security, but the US should be much better at this than it is. We had similar issues after Hurricane Katrina and our response is only marginally more efficient this time around. There is absolutely no way the US can keep on being a world leader if we cannot assist disaster victims in our hemisphere, let alone just a few hundred miles from our shore.

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