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A U.S. Marine stands guard as the USNS Comfort hospital ship prepares to leave New York A U.S. Marine stands guard as the USNS Comfort hospital ship prepares to leave New York City, April 30, 2020 (Photo by Anthony Behar for Sipa via AP Images).

COVID-19, and Climate Change, Will Change the Definition of National Security

Monday, May 18, 2020

The twin global emergencies of COVID-19 and climate change are forcing the U.S. foreign policy establishment to reassess its traditional conceptions of national security. According to a still dominant paradigm, the gravest dangers the United States faces emanate from adversaries with sufficient military capabilities to attack the nation and its allies or, at a minimum, thwart its political and economic objectives.

These threat perceptions expanded dramatically following 9/11. After a handful of jihadists armed with boxcutters inflicted a grievous wound on the U.S. homeland, transnational terrorists joined geopolitical rivals and rogue states in the pantheon of security threats. But the “violence paradigm” still prevailed. ...

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