Measuring the Effectiveness of US Military Humanitarian Construction Projects through Geospatial Analysis of Public Opinion in Belize
Date of Award
Master of Science in Engineering Management
Department of Systems Engineering and Management
Paul Cotellesso, PhD.
As part of broader US foreign policy efforts the Department of Defense (DoD) increasingly conducts complex operations which focus on efforts to influence local populations. These \hearts and minds" operations often include humanitarian and development construction projects. The wider impact on US foreign policy effort from the US military's participation in projects traditionally conducted by civilian agencies is not well understood. This research examined the effects on local public opinion from two US Air Force led \Operation New Horizons" Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA) missions conducted in the nation of Belize in 2013 and 2014. The study specifically looked for a relationship between US led humanitarian activities and observational changes in local government performance and local attitudes towards the US. This research developed methodology to examine for these effects through geospatial analysis of the AmericasBarometer public opinion surveys already being collected at the national level. The results of this research showed the feasibility of incorporating analysis of this type of data into the evaluation of DoD humanitarian and development projects. Further, the results of this study suggest that the 2013 and 2014 New Horizons projects did not have a significant effect on local government performance. Additionally, this study found US activities to be associated with drops in both trust in the US government and US military among local populations.
DTIC Accession Number
Dietrich, Arthur Z., "Measuring the Effectiveness of US Military Humanitarian Construction Projects through Geospatial Analysis of Public Opinion in Belize" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 389.