‘Fast, Cheap and Sustainable: Ex-Pentagon Geek Plots Disaster Relief 2.0′

by Jon Thompson on October 17, 2008

WIRED’s Danger Room has a post on the STAR-TIDES conference currently being held at the Pentagon.  The group is a collection of disaster relief technology providers that boast a whole assortment of possibly useful tools.  Typically, the costs for these sorts of things far outweigh the benefits but if you’ve got dollars to spend then this is the market for you.

The host of the event, Linton Wells, comes through with a very levelheaded response to what must have been a question about the lack of NGO’s mingling with military brass:

“In many respects, the conflict-resolution NGOs are quite willing to work with the military, whereas the humanitarian assistance NGOs are more wary because their people are in the field and could be at risk,” he said. “If they are seen going in and out of military facilities or communicating routinely with the military, instead of being neutral parties in the crisis, one side or the other can attribute to them the motives of the U.S. military. So they actually see in some cases their people being at risk. … What we try to do is recognize their constraints, recognize their environment, in a social network, trust-building type of arrangement. Deliver something of value that’s useful to them and show how it’s advantageous for them to work with the U.S.”

Read on…

Leave a Comment