The Ebola Crisis: U.S. Leadership and International Response
The deadly Ebola epidemic currently unfolding in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is the most severe outbreak of the disease on record. The World Health Organization reports that more than 13,500 people have been diagnosed with the disease in those three African countries alone. Even as isolated cases emerge in the United States and Western Europe, the Ebola outbreak continues largely unchecked in West Africa, with the number of diagnosed cases increasing daily. The United States has responded to the Ebola crisis with the largest global health response in American history, providing immediate humanitarian assistance while also working to alleviate health, economic and social impacts of the outbreak in West Africa.
On Wednesday, November 12, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the current state of the Ebola crisis, featuring a conversation with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, who detailed his recent trip to West Africa and the U.S. response to the crisis. Brookings President Strobe Talbott moderated the discussion. Administrator Shah also discussed USAID’s new effort, “Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development,” the agency’s effort to generate new ideas to fight Ebola. He was joined on stage by Eric Postel, assistant to the administrator for Africa.
The discussion with the administrator was followed by a panel discussion with the Search for Common Ground’s Oscar Bloh, and Brookings Senior Fellows Elizabeth Ferris, Amadou Sy and Michael O’Hanlon, who outlined the humanitarian, economic, political and security dimensions of the crisis.
Chairperson, Civil Society Organization Ebola Response Taskforce, Liberia - Country Director, Search for Common Ground Liberia
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At the end of the day, as we all know thorny national security issues don’t just involve the military; political-military considerations invariably bleed into them. If the senior military’s leadership views are going to be just constrained to military advice … who is thinking about issues from that broader perspective?