This report, authored by Athol Yates and Anthony Bergin, suggests that Asia–Pacific states need to allocate greater resources to risk reduction activities and increase the speed and effectiveness of relief efforts.
Australia, Japan and the US are active in promoting disaster risk management as a key component of their Asia–Pacific relations and regional military engagement strategies.
This report argues that the three states’ militaries will continue to play an increasing role across the disaster risk management spectrum.
The primary justification for dispatching defence forces to help another country experiencing a disaster is usually humanitarian.
But for Australia, Japan and the US, there are several other drivers: reinforcing alliances and partnerships, advancing foreign policy agendas and providing knowledge of operational military capabilities.
To better match the three nations’ defence forces’ disaster assistance capabilities with government expectations, the report recommends:
- Governments should publicly identify the benefits of using their defence forces in disaster risk management activities.
- All three military forces should integrate the key drivers for their use in disaster risk management activities into strategic guidance, doctrine, force structure and capability development.
- Defence forces and other stakeholders should seek to moderate government and public expectations about the use of the military in disaster risk management activities by identifying the costs and benefits of that involvement.
- Defence forces should produce a list of options for government that covers both disaster relief and disaster risk reduction activities that they could undertake.
- The defence forces of the three countries should establish a regular trilateral dialogue to share lessons learned in disaster risk management and improve trilateral and multilateral military cooperation during and after disasters.
Watch a video of Anthony Bergin discussing this paper on ASPI's YouTube channel.