Military-Civilian Surgical Diplomacy: An Emerging Role for Amphibious Assault
By Commander David S. Plurad and Captain Scott D. Flinn, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy
The Navy and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) engage in volunteerism worldwide. However, extensive interagency cooperation in planned, non-disaster-related, humanitarian assistance is less common. The DOD and large charitable groups face declining resources, making combined efforts more attractive. NGOs can meet their doctrinal goals with expanded logistic support, while the Navy can facilitate foreign policy objectives as well as providing essential services. Also due to limited resources, both agencies must reevaluate priorities and use existing assets with efficiency and innovation.