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Militarizing Civilian Emergencies? Professor William C. Banks Interviewed for the NATO M4CE Project

Posted on Tuesday 11/23/2021
William C. Banks

Professor Emeritus William C. Banks recently was interviewed as part of the M4CE Project, an initiative of the NATO Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability, on the subject of military intervention in domestic natural and man-made emergencies: 

"At the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS) we appreciate the role that military personnel and equipment can play and have already been playing in areas struck by natural or human-made disasters ranging from pandemics, like the current COVID-19 one, to floods, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, industrial accidents and oil spills. We believe that this role has to be highlighted for policy makers and the public, and can be further improved on the basis of best practices that need to be collected and shared broadly." 

European policy news organization Katoikos, summarizes the M4CE interviews at its blog:

"Finally, perhaps the most significant challenge ahead relates to perceptions, both in terms of public opinion towards military involvement in civilian emergencies, and in terms of the military’s opinion about working alongside civilian authorities. As both Dr. William Banks and Mr. David Burke remind us, those nations with a complicated history of military abuse of power may hold deeply embedded but well-founded mistrust towards the military. Mr. Nikos Votsios raises the important question of whether militaries can be “convinced that providing assistance to state services and local communities in case of emergencies and disasters is in their mission” or constitute a distraction from the armed forces’ “real tasks.”

Watch Professor Banks' full M4CE Project interview: