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U.S. Relief Command

The recent events in Haiti demonstrate that the United States must develop a new Military Relief Command.  The U.S. Relief Command should be modeled on the Marine Corps:  an essentially autonomous, highly trained, pre-equipped rapid response body that swiftly can deliver and operate anywhere in the world:

  • Emergency food, shelter, and sanitation supplies
  • Earth-moving equipment
  • Comprehensive emergency and long-term medical care capabilities
  • Emergency and long-term telecommunications services
  • Temporary and long-term government functionality
  • Security for populace and relief workers

The Command should be led by a General George S. Patton of relief. A formidable, indefatigable, entrepreneurial, universally admired and deservedly feared problem-solver with a history of pre-eminent effectiveness in armed services leadership.  A person who will place the urgent humane aid objective before all other goals, constituencies, and practicalities.  A person who enjoys, and who is known to enjoy, the complete confidence of the President of the United States.

The Command should control its own air, naval, and land transportation assets, its own supply depots, and its own telecommunications systems. These may well be comprised of existing military resources outmoded for modern combat, but suitable for domestic and worldwide relief needs.

The Command should have at its disposal and be able swiftly to transport, house, feed, and equip a National Reserve of trained human services volunteers who are willing to be called to duty as needed.

The Command should report directly to the Secretary of Defense, and be deployed at the order of the President. By Act of Congress, the Command should have the authority, subject to approval by the President, to impose military controls as needed over domestic and international jurisdictions.  For example, the Command should be able to exercise control over air, seaport, rail, and highway traffic in areas affected by disaster.