Feb. 24, 2022

COVID-19 Pandemic and its Impact on Italy’s Governance and Security

Italy has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a proportionately high number of infections, and even higher mortality rate, due to the large number of elderly people (22.7 percent of the residents being over 65 years, the highest percentage in Europe). As of 30 April 2021, in a population of 60.35 million, 4,044,762 had been infected, with 121,177 casualties. The impact was extremely uneven among Italy’s regions in the “first wave” (February-June 2020), with the overwhelming majority of cases being concentrated in just a handful of regions in the north. These areas are the more industrialized parts of Italy and hence more exposed to trade with foreign nations. In the “second wave,” that started in October 2020, the distribution of the infection was far more uniform.

Feb. 2, 2022

Neither Triumph nor Disaster: United Kingdom Responses to COVID-19 and the Future of National Security

Nations are from time to time subjected to the audit of war: a searching examination that looks beneath the myths, shiny surfaces, and sticking plasters to reveal those areas of society and government that are truly strong, actually weak, or just plain mediocre. What did 1914–1917 or 1941–1945 expose about Russia’s real strengths and weaknesses? How would the United States really stand up to German Panzer forces and the Japanese Navy in 1942? Fortunately, no Western nation has been through such an examination since 1945, but the massive social, political, and economic shock of COVID-19 has provided a searching peacetime test. Twenty months since reports of the first deaths circulated in Wuhan, China, we still have not marked the end of COVID-19. But we have learned a lot. Here we ask: what did the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 experience reveal; how does that relate to UK national security; and what does this mean for the UK moving forward in a post-COVID global order?

Feb. 2, 2022

The Dutch Approach to COVID-19: How is it Distinctive?

“A grim milestone: Number of COVID-19 deaths surpasses 10,000 in The Netherlands” the NL Times published on December 12, 2020.1 These figures were reported by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Two days earlier, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s chief COVID-19 advisor, said in a public lecture, “look with envy” at the Netherlands because of its “unambiguous approach to the pandemic.”

Feb. 2, 2022

Impact of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic on Finnish Views of Security

When Finnish authorities began meetings focused on the potential spread of COVID-19 in January 2020 they were still hoping that the outbreak would be contained abroad. The first confirmed case in Finland came on January 29, through a Chinese tourist visiting Lapland. In his speech to open Parliament on February 2 Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said the possibility of a global pandemic could not be discounted, and that global cooperation and national preparations were key. He noted that the low threshold for cross-authority cooperation and information sharing among Finnish authorities was a key strength. COVID-19 would ultimately expose this as not being entirely correct. The pandemic also made it clear that Finland’s comprehensive societal security concept is mainly focused on preparations for foreseen events, but has fewer provisions for operative management of dynamic crises, and unless it is a military crisis, no other authorities have the wherewithal or resources to manage a long-running society-wide emergency-crisis situation.

Feb. 2, 2022

Sweden’s Security Policy after Covid-19

The pandemic has caused ruptures in how nations view their vulnerabilities and partnerships but also generated new thinking on national and regional security assets. Sweden became the global outlier early in the outbreak—pictured as unconcerned with the spread of the disease, indeed shooting for herd immunity according to some experts and pundits. This image, whether justified or not, came with a cost. Borders with the neighboring Nordics were closed for long periods, its standing in the European Union (EU) arena suffered, and the reputation of this self-proclaimed humanitarian powerhouse took a beating.

Jan. 20, 2022

PRISM-19 (January 2022)

This special issue of PRISM is about the different perceptions and reactions to COVID-19 as people and governments experienced the disease, and their diverse understanding of its implications for national and international security.

Jan. 20, 2022

Welcome to the New Abnormal

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most globally disruptive event since the terrorist attack against the United States in 2001. Originating in China in late 2019 the disease rapidly spread throughout the international transportation network to every region and every country. Neither its velocity nor its magnitude were initially understood. In 2020 the entire world seemed to come to a standstill. International and even domestic travel came to an abrupt halt. Normally teeming cities were silenced. Streets, markets, and even schools were empty.

Jan. 20, 2022

Reality Injection: Beyond Masks and Quarantine The True Cost of COVID-19

COVID-19 has had a profound economic and social impact on America, taking over a half million lives—more than all American deaths in World War I, World War II, and Vietnam, combined.1 This article seeks to examine primary and secondary consequences of the pandemic in practical terms for the average citizen and taxpayer, whose personal exposure exceeds 2.5 years of net income based on predictions of a $16 to $35 trillion cost to the nation by 2025. Further, we offer insight into the pandemic’s collateral effects on our citizens and workforce (including often overlooked key stakeholders such as women, children, and minorities), as well as more overt aspects of our national security.

Jan. 20, 2022

U.S. SOUTHCOM Fights Through COVID-19

COVID-19 is not only a medical and humanitarian emergency that still requires immediate response, but it also remains an operating environment in which we must continue to conduct our missions as effectively and safely as possible. USSOUTHCOM was successful because of early, decisive action and our commitment and ability to work across the broad spectrum of those with whom we partner in DOD, the interagency community, with our country teams in U.S. Embassies throughout the region, and—of course—with our partners and neighbors who are eager to work with us in addressing the many security challenges that confront all the nations in the Western Hemisphere.

Jan. 20, 2022

COVID-19 and Superpower Competition: An Effective American Response

Before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, the growing consensus among analysts was that we were entering a period of deglobalization. According to the economic analyst Mohammed el-Erian deglobalization was taking place because by the 2000s the adverse economic impact of globalization had become apparent to the Western middle class. Secondly, the U.S.-China trade war saw rising tariffs and a call for rebuilding national manufacturing capabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic was the last nail in the coffin as countries adopted highly individualistic and nationalistic policies that put national interest above any global concerns.