Mr. Franklin’s commentary on human nature and our tendency to take the easy route, even if that route does not serve the public interest, is still pertinent today. When one analyzes the Department of Defense’s (DoD) humanitarian activities, we see that tendency in evidence. Cold War era inertia, reluctance to expose failures, and a culture of shortassignment-cycle accountability have all contributed to a lack of introspection and evaluation of DoD’s humanitarian work. Cost efficiency is calculated using only current costs, even as the deferred future costs of a mismanaged humanitarian action may dwarf those in the current budget cycle. With a lack of evaluation come misguided budget priorities and unproductive – even counterproductive – activity. Yet the tide is turning, and some solutions for better service are within sight. DoD’s humanitarian activities have a longstanding, rich role in the theater commander’s portfolio. Ambassadors love them. Photo ops are plentiful, with happy host nation recipients smiling for the camera. Yet, a comprehensive analysis of return on investment has not been carefully done by any organization within DoD, and the link between humanitarian activities, particularly in health, and subsequent security is tenuous at best.