Anatomy of an ambush: Security risks facing international humanitarian assistance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 2003 war with Iraq has generated security concerns that present unique challenges to the practice of providing international humanitarian assistance during war and conflict. Objective research studies on security management are lacking. However, case studies have proven to be an important education and training tool to advance situational awareness of security risks. These challenges are illustrated by an analysis of the events surrounding the first ambush of, and assassination attempt on, a senior US aid official in Baghdad. Before deployment to conflict areas, especially those characterised by insurgent activity, humanitarian providers must realistically assess the threats to life and to the mission. They must obtain pre-deployment situational awareness education, security training and optimal protective equipment and vehicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Aid
  • Complex emergency
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • Security management
  • Security training
  • Situational awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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