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EMERGENCY LOGISTICS

The Paladins have a history of expertise of emergency wartime and crisis logistics. In war and in the aftermath of natural disasters, the biggest killers tend not to be bullets fired from weapons but starvation, disease and dirty water. That is because sooner or later, after a disaster (whether man-made or not) strikes, the electricity grid fails and then, ultimately, the water supplies fail or become polluted. This creates a refugee crisis. That is because:

  1. Gasoline runs out, because everybody in a war zone or situation of natural disaster hordes gasoline and hence the liquid market in gasoline and other hydrocarbons breaks down.

  2. Refineries are bombed or rendered dysfunctional by fighting or natural events such as earthquakes, and hence gasoline becomes scarce as it is not being produced in sufficient quantities to meet the population's needs.

  3. Because there is no gasoline, logistics networks break down because trucks, lorries and vans cannot transfer goods consumers need to live, such as food and toiletries, around the country.

  4. Borders become blocked or closed, foreclosing the possibility of food and other essential consumer staples coming in from adjacent countries.

  5. When the electricity grid fails, either through destruction of infrastructure or hydrocarbons stocks upon which power stations rely run out, the computers, telephones, internet and other IT facilities necessary to run a modern logistics distribution network likewise fail.

  6. Water processing plants fail because there is no electricity. Hence the water slowly goes brown and then it ceases to run altogether.

  7. Consumers then start to rely upon wells - natural sources of underground water - or rainwater. But the former become polluted by munitions and other incidents of war, thereby poisoning civilians; the latter is extremely hard to collect efficiently in sufficient quantities such that it is clean. Rainwater ends up being mixed with the domestic polluted water supply.

  8. Outbreaks of waterborne diseases, in particular cholera, start to kill large swathes of the population.

  9. Because there is no electricity, there is no refrigeration.

  10. Hence food goes stale or develops infectious diseases dangerous to humans, because it is not being kept cold. This problem accelerates as one approaches the summer months.

  11. When electricity, gas and other sources of heating run out, food cannot be cooked either. The net result of this is that bacteria and viruses in uncooked food cannot be killed by cooking; hence those bacteria and viruses are transmitted to the civilians who eat them, and these illnesses are often deadly.

  12. People cease being able to consume balanced diets. Hence they acquire illnesses associated with lack of essential vitamins. In particular this erodes their immune systems, as does dramatic loss of weight due to starvation; and they become more susceptible to lethal diseases.

  13. Where there are limited amounts of food, those with guns tend to take precedence over civilians. In other words, armies loot civilian food supplies.

  14. Food riots break out when there is insufficient food for the entirety of the civilian population. Food riots tend to be much more deadly than other forms of civil disturbance, because the rioters are fighting one-another, literally for their lives.

  15. Food scarcity causes starvation, that disproportionately eliminates (i.e. kills) young children and elderly people; and then it leads to famine, in which nobody has anything to eat and large proportions of the population will eventually die.

  16. This accelerates the refugee crisis; the greater majority of refugees in longer-term civil conflicts are fleeing food absences rather than the dangers of bullets.

  17. Aside from accelerated military expeditions to take and destroy cities and any cost, which usually take place at the end of civil wars when there is a limited period of time to fight for one's strategic military goals as an intervening foreign powers is about to intervene by overwhelming might to end the war, starvation and famine are the biggest killers.

  18. When people get sick from eating bad food or drinking bad water, they die in large numbers and those who come to see what is happening flee by any means possible, placing the refugee crisis (the three principal issues in which are how to get sick people to borders, how to process people at borders, and how to provide accommodation, healthcare and food in refugee camps on the other sides of borders) under increasing strain.

  19. International organisations dealing with refugee crises are notorious for coming to issues too late, because their multilateral bureaucracies, requiring consent from contributing member states to share the costs of enormously costly refugee operations, are very slow.

  20. Because refugee agencies are not typically coordinating adequately with the foreign military powers that have the capacity to bring civil conflicts to an end by using military means to prevent opposing parties from fighting, refugee camps can become a permanent or indefinite feature of both the political and physical landscape for neighbouring countries, many of which are economically deprived (whether by reason of their neighbours' civil war or otherwise) and have wholly inadequate resources to manage refugee flows, which are almost always far higher than expected.

  21. The net result is a massively expensive internationally coordinated actions in managing long-term human misery and death resulting from displacement.

The solution to these extremely complex problems is to keep logistics networks working during a war. This means that electricity must be maintained; fresh and clean water must continue to be provided; and if necessary food aid, in massive quantities, must be made available using bilateral development funds or international agencies. This requires delicate diplomacy between the international actors seeking to prevent a refugee crisis from getting worse; and both sides to the conflict, each of whom must be encouraged to cooperate with the international community to ensure that food supplies get through and the necessary capacity building and emergency infrastructure works are possible to keep electricity, gas, water and food supplies running even in the midst of civil war.

Because civil war is a distinctive infection of the very poorest countries, this is extremely difficult. Such countries have troubles managing their logistics infrastructure even in peacetime. Hence massive international civilian intervention, if necessary backed by foreign military force to protect it, is necessary to maintain logistics even during wartime so that fewer people are needlessly slaughtered through starvation, famine, cold and waterborne diseases; and hence the exponentially higher costs of massive refugee relocations, amounting to millions of people, are avoided to the extent possible.

Every emergency logistics problem is different, because the terrain may be different; the wartime circumstances may be different; the self-sufficiency of the territory may be different; and so on. The Paladins offer experienced coordination solutions between more than one side to any conflict; bilateral government donors; and international organisations.

We are here to serve. We act without fear or fervour, to prevent the mass deaths and humanitarian catastrophes that arise out of wholesale logistics failures that are the inevitable consequences of civil conflicts and natural disasters.

Please contact us for our detailed advice and assistance in these fields.

The Paladins