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Old 01-27-2010, 01:52 AM   #1
DWSTXS
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What event would be too much?

I just read an article about Haiti, and now there is fear that an epidemic of disease will take place once the rains come in March-April.

I started wondering this: what event would have to take place before it was too much to handle?

For instance: What if some country were to attack another country in a heavily populated area, with nukes? And, instead of 1-2 million affected (like Haiti and the earthquake) what if there were 10-12 million?
or, what if that happened and the attacked country retaliated and used nukes and there are suddenly 30-40 million people affected?

Would that be too much for any one country to provide aid for?

Also, what type of event could occur where the affected area would be written off? As in, we can't provide enough aid, we don't have the resources? Sorry, but you're on your own?

Finally, is there any scenario in which there could be some event, such as nukes, severe widespread economic collapse, disease. . . in which the affected country/region would cause such a severe strain on another country (the country trying to provide aid) that it could cause that country to falter and either collapse itself, or at least deny aid because it would provide too much hardship?

I know these are maudlin questions, but reading about Haiti, looking forward to more problems, just got me thinking about apocolyptic-type scenarios. and I know there must be others out there who have thought this through in much more detail thatn I have.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:57 AM   #2
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The closest I can think of is the First World War, which is cited by some as the closest the world has come to the Four Horsemen: War, disease (Spanish flu), famine (caused by the war), and death (caused by war, disease and famine). It took some countries decades to recover economically and population-wise. Lesser examples might be the South after the Civil War.

Not *quite* what you were asking, but was the only thing that came to mind.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:10 AM   #3
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The Taiping Rebellion in China led to something like 20 million deaths, most of them civilians. That was in the 19th century. Not studied much, these days, but it was--imo--far more devastating than the US Civil War.

But there wasn't any large international humanitarian response, of course. China petered on.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:29 AM   #4
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I think it would take more than any one single disaster. It would take a slam. And then it would be a pick and choose who to help. Or if the country who usually does the aiding was slammed theirselves along with another country, they wouldn't have the resources to help both.

I don't see anyone just throwing up their hands and saying "Oh well, they're too damaged to help" over a single disaster. I mean look at how many countries were affected by the tsunami.

However, if you take the countries that do the aiding and slam them, I somehow don't see the countries that don't usually get involved in these other disasters suddenly jumping in the role.
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