U.S. Responded to Haiti With More Force Than Puerto Rico

Just 4,400 American service members are participating in federal relief efforts in Puerto Rico eight days after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. In comparison, 8,000 U.S. troops headed to Haiti to help in the first two days after a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake in 2010. Officials said widespread communication failures, as well as the rules of engagement in place when assisting a U.S. territory rather, than a foreign nation, have been obstacles in providing aid. “We were able to move more quickly in a foreign country, and with no warning because it was an earthquake, than a better-equipped agency was able to do in a domestic territory,” said Rajiv Shah, who led the U.S. Agency for International Development during the Haiti response.