From Bosnia to Somalia, and most recently from Rwanda to Angola and the Sudan, humanitarian aid and international interventions have gone awry. Although the need for humanitarian assistance has not diminished in the wake of the Cold War, success stories will almost certainly be harder to come by. This book addresses that grim prospect. Based on scholarly research, practical experience, and in-depth interviews with over 1500 humanitarian, political, and military officials in active war zones, Mercy Under Fire articulates key principles of humanitarian action and shows what has to be done, in what way, and by whom in order to avert failure in future humanitarian interventions. Undeterred by controversy, Larry Minear and Thomas G. Weiss critique current practices of UN organizations, private aid agencies, and governments, offering new guidelines to make humanitarian efforts more timely, comprehensive, adequately funded, and keyed to local resources. Filled with case studies, examples, and illustrations drawn from hot spots around the globe, Mercy Under Fire persuasively argues for greater efforts at conflict prevention and a more savvy approach to the politics and violence that complicate international efforts to provide a safety net for civilians caught in the throes of war.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Introduction -- The Setting -- Guiding Principles -- Challenges -- Interactions -- The Future -- About the Humanitarianism and War Project