Hearts and Minds: Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan and the Use of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief to Further Strategic Ends
Keywords:Philippines, political economy, disaster response, humanitarian assistance
AbstractHumanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) should, as the term itself implies, be driven by humanitarian concern for the welfare of others. To use HADR for political or strategic ends distorts its purpose and introduces the potential for suspicion and distrust. In the aftermath of the November 2013 Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, the U.S. military extended HADR to the affected regions of the Philippines. In the ensuing months, the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) allowed the U.S. military access to bases in the Philippines. Facing off against China’s presence in the South China Sea, U.S. military presence in the Philippines is clearly intended to encircle China in a future war. The ascendancy of Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency has meant that the Philippines will follow an independent foreign policy. His stated intent to reverse EDCA has laid bare the use of HADR for strategic ends. The use of HADR by the U.S. as a ploy to gain strategic advantage is clear to the rest of the world. It is time to abandon the deception.
Burkle, FM. The World Health Organanization Global Health Emergency Workforce: What Role Will the United States Play? Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness 2016. Online ahead of print 4 July 2016. DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2016.114
Regencia, Ted. Toxic trail shadows US-Philippine bases deal. Al Jazeera. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/04/toxic-trail-shadows-us-philippine-military-bases-deal-20144286574888208.html Accessed June 23, 2016.
Hudson A. US Wages ''War on Terror'' in the Philippines. Truthout 09 April 2015 http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30061-us-wages-war-on-terror-in-the-philippines
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Super Typhoon Haiyan Hits the Philippines. Available at https://pmm.nasa.gov/articles/super-typhoon-haiyan-hits-philippines. Accessed June 23, 2016.
Lagmay, Alfredo Mahar Francisco ; Agaton, Rojelee P. ; Bahala, Mark Allen C. ; Briones, Jo Brianne Louise T. ; Cabacaba, Krichi May C. ; Caro, Carl Vincent C. ; Dasallas, Lea L. ; Gonzalo, Lia Anne L. ; Ladiero, Christine N. ; Lapidez, John Phillip ; Mungcal, Maria Theresa Francia ; Puno, Jose Victor R. ; Ramos, Michael Marie Angelo C. ; Santiago, Joy ; Suarez, John Kenneth ; Tablazon, Judd P. Devastating storm surges of Typhoon Haiyan. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, March 2015, Vol.11, pp.1-12.
Janneli Lea A. Soria, Adam D. Switzer, Cesar L. Villanoy, Hermann M. Fritz, Princess Hope T. Bilgera, Olivia C. Cabrera, Fernando P. Siringan, Yvainne Yacat-Sta. Maria, Riovie D. Ramos, and Ian Quino Fernandez. Repeat Storm Surge Disasters of Typhoon Haiyan and Its 1897 Predecessor in the Philippines. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, January 2016, Vol. 97, No. 1, Published online on 15 Feb 2016.
E. Mas ; J. Bricker ; S. Kure ; B. Adriano ; C. Yi ; A. Suppasri ; S. Koshimura. Field survey report and satellite image interpretation of the 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 01 April 2015, Vol.15(4), pp.805-816.
Paola Katrina Ching, Vikki Carr de los Reyes, Ma Nemia Sucalditob, Enrique Tayag. An assessment of disaster-related mortality post-Haiyan in Tacloban City. Western Pac Surveill Response J. 2015 Oct-Dec; 6(Suppl 1): 34–38.
Republic of the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. NDRRMC Update: FINAL REPORT re EFFECTS of Typhoon “YOLANDA” (HAIYAN). 2014. http://www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/attachments/article/1329/FINAL_REPORT_re_Effects_of_Typhoon_YOLANDA_(HAIYAN)_06-09NOV2013.pdf. Accessed April 11, 2016.
Yap DJ, Santos TG. Did ‘Yolanda’ kill 18,000? Formal probe sought Philippines Daily Inquirer, Nov 7, 2014.
Felipe, Cecille Suerte. Yolanda death toll as high as 15,000, priest says. The Philippine Star. Jan 5,2015.
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/01/05/1409522/yolanda-death-toll-high-15000-priest-says Accessed June 23, 2016.
Maplecroft Global Risk Analytics. Natural Hazards Risk Atlas 2014. http://maplecroft.com/portfolio/new-analysis/2014/02/19/natural-hazards-risk-atlas-2014/. Accessed March 24.2014.
Gabieta, Joey. ‘Yolanda’ death toll still vague 8 months later. Philippines Daily Inquirer. July 2, 2014.
Bautista, Efleda. ‘Yolanda’ lessons from gov’t’s shortfalls. Philippines Daily Inquirer. Nov 10, 2015.
M. Igoe, “US coordinating ‘massive logistical operation’ in stor m-ravaged Philippines,” (November 13, 2013) Available at https://www.devex.com/en/news/us-coordinating-massive-logistical-operation-in/82291?mem=ua&src=news.
Operation Damayan: PACOM Approved Talking Points as of 13 November 2013. https://wss.apan.org/s/tf70/Medical%20Working%20Documents/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=1 Accessed July 3, 2016.
Cole, William. Partnering on disasters, climate will top ASEAN talks, Hagel says. Honolulu Star-Advertiser April 2, 2014. http://www.staradvertiser.com/newspremium/20140402__Partnering_on_disasters_climate_will_top_ASEAN_talks_Hagel_says.html?id=253524661 Accessed July 9, 2016.
DeLuce, Dan. Military's aid operations help promote US interests. Agence France-Presse. http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/11/13/13/militarys-aid-operations-help-promote-us-interests . Accessed May 30, 2016.
Blank, Jonah. How Philippines typhoon aid helps USA. U.S.A. Today, Nov 14, 2013. http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/11/11/philippines-typhoon-us-aid-column/3500637/
Accessed May 30, 2016.
H. Clinton, “America’s Pacific Century: The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action” Foreign Policy (October 11, 2011). Available at
P. Cronin, “The Pivot Starts Now: In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, the United States has gained some ground at China's expense” Foreign Policy (November 15, 2013). Available at
Macan-Markar, Marwaan. Philippines seeks US help to counter China. alJazeera. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/02/201228133621867303.html Accessed July 4, 2016.
Teodoro, Luis. Prescription for Disaster. BWorld Online Nov 28, 2013. http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Opinion&title=Prescription-for-disaster&id=80059
Delola, Ardee. “Capitalizing on misery of Yolanda” Davao Today (December 15, 2013). http://davaotoday.com/main/2013/12/15/todays-view-capitalizing-on-misery-of-yolanda/. Accessed July 4, 2016.
Documents of the International Peoples’ Tribunal, July 16-18, 2015, Washington D.C. Quezon City Philippines: IBON Foundation, 2015, p. 12. https://internationalpeoplestribunaldotorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/ipt-2015-book-interactive-v4.pdf Accessed June 23, 2016.
N. Klein, The shock doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism (Toronto, Ontario: Knopf Canada, 2008).
de la Cruz, Arlyn. US drone watched Mamasapano debacle Philippine Daily Inquirer Feb 8, 2015. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/671237/us-drone-watched-mamasapano-debacle Accessed July 9, 2016.
Dancel, Raul. Philippines to get largest US military aid package since 2000. Straits Times. April 9, 2016. http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/philippines-to-get-largest-us-military-aid-package-since-2000. Accessed June 20, 2016.
Holmes, Oliver. ‘We have short memories’: Japan unites with former foes to resist China’s empire of sand. Guardian June 26, 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/26/we-have-short-memories-japan-unites-with-former-foes-to-resist-chinas-empire-of-sand Accessed July 4, 2016
Escobar, Pepe. Is war inevitable in the South China Sea? RT, July 27 2016. https://www.rt.com/op-edge/353532-war-south-china-sea-us/ Accessed November 27, 2016.
Gompert, David C., Astrid Cevallos, Cristina L. Garafola. War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable. RAND Corportion, 2016.
Hallinan, Conn. China and the U.S. are Approaching Dangerous Seas. Foreign Policy in Focus, August 17, 2016. http://fpif.org/china-u-s-approaching-dangerous-seas/ Accessed August 19, 2016.
Olson, Wyatt. Philippine presidential front-runner could hinder US military ties. Stars and Stripes. http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/philippine-presidential-front-runner-could-hinder-us-military-ties-1.406656 Accessed July 4, 2016.
Paddock, Richard. Mysterious Blast in Philippines Fuels Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘Hatred’ of U.S. New York Times May 13, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/world/asia/philippines-president-rodrigo-duterte.html. Accessed July 4, 2016.
Pia Ranada. “Duterte wants to scrap EDCA.” Rappler October 25, 2016. http://www.rappler.com/nation/150262-duterte-edca-no-foreign-troops Accessed November 11, 2016.
Carmela Fonbuena. US says EDCA is binding, reminds PH of aid after Yolanda. Rappler, October 5, 2016. http://www.rappler.com/nation/148242-edca-binding-white-house-yolanda?utm_content=buffere5346&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer Accessed October 4, 2016.
Stella A. Estremera. Duterte reminds US of Bud Dajo massacre. Davao Sun Star, September 6, 2016. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/local-news/2016/09/06/duterte-reminds-us-bud-dajo-massacre-495916 Accessed September 5, 2016.
Capie, David. The United States and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Releif (HADR) in East Asia: Connecting Coercive and Non-Coercive Uses of Military Power. The Journal of Strategic Studies 2015 38(3):309-331.
Yates, Athol. China’s Risk Equation: Using Military Forces in International Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Activities. Stockholm, Sweden: Institute for Security and Development Policy, 2013.