Skip to comments.Gates rules out airdropping aid for fear of riots
Posted on 01/15/2010 6:23:42 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
ARLINGTON, Va. Top defense officials have ruled out airdropping food, water and medical supplies over Haiti, fearing that chaos would be the unintended result.
It seems to me that without having any structure on the ground, in terms of distribution, that an airdrop is simply going to lead to riots as people try and go after that stuff, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday.
On Thursday, an Air Force official said that a lack of fuel and equipment was slowing air operations at the Port-au-Prince airport.
The first of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinsons 19 helicopters have since arrived in the Haitian capital, and they will be critical to distributing relief supplies, Gates said.
A force of between 9,000 and 10,000 U.S. servicemembers is on its way to Haiti, said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A large portion of those troops will remain on ships off the islands coast, but the Defense Department is poised to send more ground forces if the head of U.S. Southern Command and the commander on the ground feel its necessary, Mullen said.
U.S. troops primary mission will be to deliver relief supplies, not provide security, Gates said.
Right now, the security situation in Haiti remains OK, he said.
The key is to get the food and the water in there as quickly as possible, so that people dont in their desperation turn to violence, he said.
The 2,000 Marines headed to Haiti are capable of conducting a variety of missions ranging from humanitarian relief to combat operations, said Capt. Clark Carpenter, a spokesman for the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Well be able to support any number of things that come at us, Carpenter said Friday. Were able to support more than just the relief effort, if thats necessary.
The Marines are expected to arrive off Haiti next week.
When asked if the U.S. response to the Haitian earthquake is moving quickly enough, Gates said he did not see how it could have been faster.
There are just some certain facts of life that affect how quickly you can do some of these things, he said. The collapse of the infrastructure in Haiti, the small size of the airport, the time it takes a ship to get from Point A to Point B those are all just facts of life, he said.
If you do airdrop supplies, you’ll have to drop in about a hundred Army Rangers ahead of the supplies.
Sounds like a perfect opportunity to send in community organizers. Isn’t that their job description?
He would have known who to talk to...and would have done it effectively.
Bush cuts red tape...Ozero creates it.
Do the drops and keep coming back. Once the people have the commodities in large numbers and understand that help is not going to leave them in the lurch, things should be OK. This riot stuff is more drama queen than anything else.
supply and demand. just “drop” in overwhelming force to outnumber the demand. carpet bomb the place with provisions.
So Gates is racist. He’s saying Blacks cannot share.
Well gee whiz, when the relief workers couldn’t get into N.O. after Katrina, it was all Bush’s fault for not coming to the rescue fast enough. With the obutt everything is hunky dory. Some things are just the facts of life.
Gates rules out airdropping aid for fear of riots
Yeah, I guess he prefers their deaths by thirst,hunger and a lack of basic meds like asprin.
"It's a helicopter, and it's coming this way. It's flying something behind it, I can't quite make it out, it's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From ... W ... K ... R... P!! No parachutes yet. Can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but - Oh my God, Johnny, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!"
“I have a strong feeling Pres. Bush would have been in there by now.”
I know what you mean.
Maybe Obama should confer with School Bus Nagin?
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For once in his life I think he might be right. Not to mention that the strongest would collect the dropped items and sell them to the weakest (by whatever means).
Should have been air dropping supplies within the first 24 hours. The banality and stupidity of this administration is almost incomprehensible. The global banking powers will soon have this situation right where they want it.
Why? Bill Clinton already did that.
Maybe we should use the American military to make third world countries UN protectorates. Look what happens.
Why? Bill Clinton already did that.
Maybe we shouldn’t use the American military to make third world countries UN protectorates. Look what happens.
Correct in #18
It’s a UN protectorate. What’s the UN doing I wonder?
The first object of attention should be how the Haitian people previously ran their water works.
It either comes from well water, surface water, or desalinization.
In any of these cases, all they need is a generator to provide electrical power for a pump, a reservoir or even temp tanks, and some pipe to a distribution point.
Where it connects up to existing distribution systems, and slowly brought back on line, great.
If it means they simply supply water at each utility district on the island, great.
If there are multiple cisterns holding fresh water, then great, it is more distributed, and perhaps they have to use a rope and bucket, instead of a gas or diesel powered pump.
The people will not die of starvation or dehydration.
In the shantytowns, the people are probably more adept at surviving the lack of public utilities than those accustomed to living in subdivisions.
Sending over pallets of bottled water is like sending Marines into WWII pacific beach landings using water wings and canoes from the California coastline. It’s off by several to five orders of magnitude in the volume of daily replenishment required in a population this size.
It is much better to get the ports back into operation and use the existing culture to bring their workforce back on line.
At this point in time, the larger risk are a bunch of international do-gooders attempting to fight a forest fire with a garden hose, and concurrently encouraging all Haitians that they are victims who must depend upon others.
That's just immortal.
I always thought that appointing Bill Clinton to be Ambassador to Haiti would be the perfect assignment for that man. Maybe he could actually improve things there.
Thousands of little parachutes, 10lb payload.
Bypass all of it. Tell the populace we'll deliver supplies to the beach, Haiti has plenty of those and they still work just fine. Unload directly from the ships onto the beach, using landing craft and LCAC's, out in the open and under the guns of our warships.
Tell the Haitians "get to the beach if you can, and we'll give you what we can. "But", you say, what about those who can't get there? That's a job for the Haitian gov't, the UN, and private charities. Bring them or supply them yourselves.
There should be no US troops inland, except those evacuating US Citizens.
Well, he certainly would change the gene pool.
Which is exactly what they should do - does Gates think there won't be/is chaos now?
People can wait for food - but water, they need NOW...
What's his plan. Wait until they can get people in there on the ground? They will no longer need water - just body bags.
In the meantime, my sil flies C 130's for the Coast Guard out of Florida - they are flying nonstop - on return, don't even turn off the engines, just reload and go..
Yeah...just look how well he did with Arkansas.
The Canadian DART team being deployed has a mobile water purification plant, which they used successfully after the Boxing Day tsunami. AFAIK the advance party is on the ground and a C17 with the water plant should be on the way soon.
Yeah its far better to let them die of thirst.
With lots of ammo.
That should be easy. Aren't we supposed to have a brigade of Army Rangers on call?
It’s only going to get worse. It’s going to get real worse.
How many rescue workers will die before they pull them all out of there?
You heard it here first.
Exactly. I mean, we think air dropping stimulus checks in America is going to do us so much good after all...
And who should pay for this?
Dr. Bill Wattenburg, nuclear physicist and commentator on KGO radio, San Francisco, figured out how to do this almost 2 decades ago.
You air drop small packages of food and water without parachutes. The packages survive fine and the locals pick up the widely distributed packages without having to ask the local war lord / gang boss for permission.
US military is well aware of this procedure. Why isn’t Obama?
Barry Soetoro will ensure this operation is FUBAR.
I think that is what Gates is worried about, they'll see the pallets and parachutes and run underneath them.
The UN is being its usual worthless self. Gen. Russel Honore is the only person I’ve heard who talks sense — too bad he’s not in charge.
The UN pulling doctors and supplies from a field hospital with sick and dying patients today was unconscienable.
What about the kind of MRE drops we did in Afghanistan or Iraq (shame on me, I can’t remember which). My (sketchy) memory is that they were pretty successful.
Exactly! Little packages and lots of them!! Drop them all over the place and keep them coming. Just get the water and some food in with first-aid kits, and ease the immediate needs.
Where are the brains in this rescue debacle?
And from what I understand, most of these MREs were scooped up my the local tribal chiefs and doled out to the faithful.
Ya, well, the point is to try and save, not kill em.
Ranger is a bad choice.
US Army Engineers, US NAve SeeBees, USAF Red Horse - now those would be a good choice.
Got blocked roads? - send in M9 Engineering vehicles.
At some point, things will get better - I just don’t know when that will be...
The goons with the sharpest machetes will get to the dropped supplies first.
I’m sure you’ve seen this...
Just like we did in Afghanistan. Remember Chris Matthews calling the food packets ridiculous?
:supply and demand. just drop in overwhelming force to outnumber the demand. carpet bomb the place with provisions.”
Bundles of bottled water, gloves and dried food would seem to be a smart thing to bundle together and drop in.
I saw the tape of that drop in A-stan,,,
Seemed to work well,,,But,,,
IIRC the drop-zone was a large clear area,,,not sure,,,
That was only MRE’s,,,no water,,,
The MRE’s I have are 12” X 7.5”,,,12.4 oz. ,,,
I guess these would fall generally flat,,,?
Mite not hurt too bad if they hit somebody,,,
A 12 oz. bottle of water would kill,,,
No time to repackage,,,
Then there’s the number of people,,,
This will take ship loads,,,
Hopefully the Navy can get the port up and running and
the road fixed soon,,,
Sadly time is running out for many of the little kids...