By Jim Dolbow
When asked on his command’s relationship with the U.S. Public Health Service and NGO’s like Project Hope and Operation Smile, MG William “Burke” Garrett III, commanding general, U.S. Army Africa, told USNI Blog:
Yeah, great question. One of the things we’re trying to do is build relationships now with organizations that are operating and connecting business in Africa to include nongovernment organizations, humanitarian organizations of all types.
Of course, being a military organization, there’s going to be some that are resistant to our outreach and that’s entirely understandable. But General Ward has charged us with doing no harm, in terms of interfering with activities in Africa that are being conducted by nongovernment organizations, or other U.S. government agencies and organizations.
So we are very careful in that regard as we move forward. But in many cases, we’re trying to get after the same ends in terms of bringing positive change to Africa. And where we can partner, we’re certainly interested in doing that. And likewise, we absolutely respect and understand the nongovernment organizations that have no desire to associate with a military organization.
Do no harm sounds good to me. What has been your experience working with NGOs?