Few natural disasters come bigger than the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. It left a trail of destruction from one side of the Indian Ocean to the other. Hardest hit was Aceh in Indonesia’s west where the tsunami killed almost a quarter of a million people, left half a million homeless and destroyed swathes of infrastructure.
The global community responded with the largest military deployment since World War II plus billions in private and public donations. Four years later, Aceh had been rebuilt from the ground up in one of the world’s fastest and most successful disaster reconstruction programs, a stunning achievement given that so many international recovery operations fail.
"Tsunami Chronicles: Adventures in Disaster Management" is a powerful series of six books that tell the inside story. Written by a key insider, they offer a great global case study in disaster risk management, preparedness and reconstruction, and a model of leadership in the politics of disaster recovery and management of political and operational complexity.
“Rise of the Warlords” is the second book in the series. It reveals the snarling political forces that tore at the innards of Indonesia’s reconstruction agency. Local warlords fought for supremacy. Conflict, corruption and incompetence seared the scene. Soaring costs collapsed commitments. Political infighting tore at the heart and soul of everything. Taming these took tremendous effort and skill by a master strategist who ultimately won the game in a story of impressive leadership in emergency response and recovery. It is a story with special appeal to those in the international community—the UN, World Bank, Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations and development agencies—keen for greater insights into the management of disaster recovery in an era of global warming and climate change where natural disasters threaten like never before.