January 5, 2005
Operation Garron, the British, the Dutch, and a silly writer at the Guardian
Here's an overview of the British military effort, which they've dubbed Operation Garron. Excerpt:
Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team personnel have been deployed by the Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand, able to provide expert advice across the full range of military assistance likely to be needed. These are working very closely with the local authorities, FCO and DFID officials, and other aid agencies to ensure that UK military assistance is provided where it is most needed.So the Brits have sent their two ships to the Indian area. Seems like most of the European countries are concentrating on areas of their own former colonies. Already much-blogged upon today, the Dutch are aghast at the absence of European aid in Indonesia, and the abundance of US aid (the Aussies are there too of course) (ht: The Diplomad):
The frigate HMS Chatham and the repair ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary Diligence were directed into the disaster area. Chatham arrived at Colombo in Sri Lanka on 3 January, while Diligence has embarked humanitarian stores in Cochin, south-west India, and is expected to reach Colombo on 5 January. The ships offer a broad range of capabilities - Chatham has two Lynx helicopters embarked, which will provide much needed air mobility, as well as excellent communications, while Diligence has extensive workshops and the ability to provide emergency electrical and fresh water supplies, as well as transport stores and act as a mother-ship to small craft engaged on relief work along the coastline.
Royal Air Force air transport have also been heavily involved, including a C-17 heavy airlifter delivering equipment to allow the United Nations to establish relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia.
US helicopters fly to places which haven't been reached for the whole week and drop food. The impression it makes on the people is also highly positive; finally something happens in the city of Banda Aceh and finally it seems some people are in control and are doing something. No talking but action. European countries are until now invisible on the ground. IOM staff (note: this is a USAID-funded organization) is very busy briefing the incoming Americans and Australians about the situation.The European press is reacting to this news by pitching in for the relief effort by doing what they do best -- whining:
Why must the relief of suffering, in this unprecedentedly prosperous world, rely on the whims of citizens and the appeals of pop stars and comedians? Why, when extreme poverty could be made history with a minor redeployment of public finances, must the poor world still wait for homeless people in the rich world to empty their pockets?
The obvious answer is that governments have other priorities. And the one that leaps to mind is war. If the money they have promised to the victims of the tsunami still falls far short of the amounts required, it is partly because the contingency fund upon which they draw in times of crisis has been spent on blowing people to bits in Iraq.
Chester has this to say about such paleolithic socialist drivel: (imagine a one-fingered salute inserted here)
Posted by Chester at January 5, 2005 1:46 AM
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