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The consequence of COVID-19: how the United States moved from security provider to security consumer

Abstract : Deliberations over the COVID-19 pandemic's long-term effects on the global balance of power have spurred a large and rancorous debate, including speculation about a shift in the definition of national security and prescriptions about where it should focus. That argument will no doubt continue. But we argue that one consequence is already evident: the United States has spent the last seventy years portraying itself as a security provider in all key domains—for many an intrinsic component of its status as a global leader. One reasonable broad conclusion from the US struggle with COVID-19 is that it has further forfeited its broad leadership position on the basis of its behaviour. Yet that, although possibly true, would only portray one element of the story. The more profound insight exposed by COVID-19 is of a new reality: in a world where both naturogenic and anthropogenic threats pose immense national security challenges, decades of mistaken assumptions and policy choices have created a new environment, one where the United States has been redefined as a security consumer, at least in terms of international public health issues associated with the spread of deadly infectious diseases.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 11:07:14 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 11:42:04 AM

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Simon Reich, Peter Dombrowski. The consequence of COVID-19: how the United States moved from security provider to security consumer. International Affairs, Wiley, 2020, 96 (5), pp.1253 - 1279. ⟨10.1093/ia/iiaa136⟩. ⟨hal-03393678⟩

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