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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This is Ray “School Bus” Nagin and he’s on CNN’s American Morning today and Miles O’Brien says to him, “So you won’t be relying on buses or mass ...
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?
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