Case #2068.0

The National Guard’s Response to the 2010 Pakistan Floods

Publication Date: July 27, 2016
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Throughout the summer of 2010, Pakistan experienced severe flooding that overtook a large portion of the country, displacing millions of people, causing extensive physical damage, and resulting in significant economic losses. This case focuses on the role of the National Guard (and of the U.S. military, more broadly) in the international relief effort that unfolded alongside that of Pakistan’s government and military. In particular it highlights how various Guard and U.S. military assets that had been deployed to Afghanistan as part of the war there were reassigned to support the U.S.’s flood relief efforts in Pakistan, revealing the successes and challenges of transitioning from a war-footing to disaster response. In exploring how Guard leaders partnered with counterparts from other components of the U.S. government, Pakistani officials, and members of the international humanitarian community, the case also examines how they navigated a set of difficult civilian-military dynamics during a particularly tense period in U.S.-Pakistan relations.

Learning Objective:
By illustrating the political, logistical, and operational difficulties of providing aid in a complex geopolitical environment, this case prompts readers to reflect on a range of challenges the Guard may encounter when engaged in disaster relief overseas. The case also asks the reader to consider how the Guard’s participation in foreign wars, its engagement in international relief efforts, and its performance of its domestic duties in the U.S. may complement or compete with one another.

Other Details

Case Author:
David Tannenwald
Faculty Lead:
Arnold Howitt
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Funding Source:
National Guard Bureau, United States Department of Defense, through the Homeland Security Institute