Global Health Engagement: Sharpening a Key Tool for the Department of Defense

New CSIS Report: 

Global Health Engagement:

Sharpening a Key Tool for the Department of Defense

President Obama recently announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) would deploy 3,000 troops to lead a major expansion of the U.S. response to Ebola. This campaign will amplify efforts that already include the largest international response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its history, numerous other U.S. agencies, and a large coalition of international partners assisting the affected nations. Although a military-led operation of this scale and complexity is unprecedented, involvement by U.S. military personnel in global health activities is not new, has increased considerably over the past decade, and has often been controversial.

A new report authored by Dr. Chris Daniel, Senior Associate at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, Global Health Engagement: Sharpening a Key Tool for the Department of Defenseexamines recent efforts within DoD to clarify the appropriate role of global health engagement—in direct support of its mission and in support of broader U.S. security and global health goals—and to increase its effectiveness.  The report, written in collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Hicks, Henry Kissinger Chair and Director of the International Security Program at CSIS, details several positive developments but also recommends additional steps to sustain momentum and further increase the value of DoD’s global health efforts.  In the face of heightened budgetary scrutiny – and particularly now as it takes on a prominent role in the Ebola crisis – it is essential that ​ ​​DoD leadership sustains its commitment to smarter global health engagement.