This paper examines how the relationship between the military and humanitarians has been affected by renewed activism; most notably in Afghanistan and Iraq. The first part of this paper presents background of the recent military and humanitarian operations in these countries. Given the efforts made to improve civil-military relations during the past decade, the contention is made that this relationship has take “two steps back” because of growing discord between the military and humanitarians, continuing lack of security, and frustration over the lack of progress in what are thought to be “lessons learned.” Second, five lessons learned in the relationship between the military and humanitarians is presented with a discussion of how each has been were ignored or relearned. Third, at least two emergent issues or “lessons” are discussed. The conclusion suggests further steps in improving the way the military and humanitarians interact and presents several questions worth further inquiry.
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