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American National Security Response to COVID-19

Introduction

The government of the United States faced a significant number of national security issues and challenges, considering the current unstable and life-threatening environment. As such, candidates and representatives elected in 2020 are exposed to critical questions on national security and foreign policy issues, to which they must respond as a matter of urgency. The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly the most disturbing and consequential concern that encompasses the governmental responsibility on the international arena. At the beginning of the pandemic crisis, the disastrous misgovernment of the United States had an adverse impact on fighting the COVID-19 and, thus, postponed efforts to reactivate the American economy safely. With that said, the U.S. national security response to the Covid-19 is one of the most crucial issues to examine regarding the crisis preparedness in the United States.

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Competing Solutions to Address the Issue

The current COVID-19 pandemic underlines the fundamental role of robust agencies for administrating and alleviating such nontraditional threats to the country’s security since they manifest themselves on a domestic and global scene. According to Congressional Research Service (2020), the long-term gap between civilian and military resources raises the question of whether these authorities are adequately resourced to deal with current challenges. Therefore, this issue is also examined in terms of the current and future needs, and whether they are sufficiently incorporated into national security plans and strategies. The severe pandemic affects not only the public health and American economy, but it also threatens the national security of the U.S.

In terms of health and safety policies, the federal government responds to the pandemic by implementing the social distancing measures, a well-organized testing program, and isolating. Some of the solutions concerning the national security approach to address the virus are identification and geolocation to monitor how people adhere to the isolation norms. Cohen & Kupferschmidt (2020, 1288) state that the majority of nations succeeded in managing the pandemic by ongoing “testing, tracing, isolation, and quarantining.” In the United States, these tasks concern the state and local health departments, which usually lack the resources needed to strengthen rapidly and vary immensely by jurisdiction. In addition, the government invested in basic research for the military, which enabled a range of consumer goods. Some military expenses are highly relevant during the current crisis. For instance, the laboratory at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases is considered to be at the forefront of the search for a vaccine against COVID-19.

With regard to legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government, the pandemic response includes remote voting on coronavirus-related legislation, the signing of the third coronavirus relief package, legislation to delay the federal tax filing deadline for 90 days, and relief bill based on free testing and paid medical leave. Furthermore, it is also crucial to deal with the fake news dissemination and network intelligence, as well as cybersecurity because misinformation during COVID-19 can become a matter of life and death, and lead to the false panic. National security experts emphasize the importance of cooperation between the leading nations, such as “China, European allies, the Middle East, India, East Asian countries, and the United States” (Dizikes, 2020, para. 10). This primarily aims at providing opportunities for the early monitoring of the pandemic in the case of the second wave of coronavirus in the U.S. Thus, the country will be better prepared for the identification of new pathogens; however, it requires significant investments and cooperation.

The Argument for the Preferred Solution

The COVID-19 pandemic will contribute to a major transformation concerning the way people perceive pandemic identification, response, and readiness to address the issue on a global level. The response to the coronavirus significantly affected the economy and national security of the United States. Considering the variety of COVID-19 implications on national security, cyber threat-detection and security are probably one the most vital issues that should be addressed. During the pandemic outbreak, hackers are currently searching for ways to implement different forms of cyber-attacks. Hence, as most people shifted to working from home outside of the office setting on their devices, cybercriminals are now enhancing their efforts. This leads to “information loss, privacy breaches, systems being held at ransom, or permanent compromise of device data” (Shoghi, 2020, para. 13). The cyber intelligence division can be efficiently applied to provide the threat assessment in the real-time of such unprotected networks and devices with the help of security patches. Some national security experts believe that recent threats over the twenty years result in extreme challenges for the United States, which do not have military solutions, including cybersecurity problems.

Conclusion

The challenges that the worldwide pandemic brought is indeed a complex issue to examine, specifically in terms of national security. At the very beginning, COVID-19 was a public health and safety issue, however, it became the biggest concern and threat to the national economy and security of the United States in 2020 with the highest death rates. The COVID crisis posed new risks in terms of national security and changed American citizens’ lives in general. This analysis provides evidence for ending the long-standing reliance on the military forces and developing new national and international procedures to protect the nation from the current and future global threats.

References

Cohen, J., & Kupferschmidt, K. 2020. “Countries Test Tactics in “War” against COVID-19.” Science, 367 (6484): 1287–1288. doi:10.1126/science.367.6484.1287.

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Congressional Research Service (CRS). 2020. COVID-19: National Security and Defense Strategy. Web.

Dizikes, Peter. 2020. “Will the Covid-19 Pandemic Change National Security?” MIT News. Web.

Shoghi. 2020. “Shoghi’s Solutions to support National Security and Intelligence Agencies to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic.” Shoghi Communications Ltd. Web.

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