Special Commentary: Long-Term Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for the US Army
- Steven Metz
- Content Type
- Commentary and Analysis
- The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
- As the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the United States, the Army is simultaneously
providing extensive support to civil authorities and maintaining readiness to perform its
deterrence and warfighting missions. Eventually the current crisis will subside but the United
States and its Army will not simply return to the way things were before. The pandemic has
unleashed great change within the United States and the global security environment,
accelerating forces that will, in combination, be revolutionary.
As Dmitri Simes put it, "If ever the modern world faced a “perfect storm,” this is it. The
combination of a deadly and highly infectious virus, an emerging worldwide economic
depression, the collapse of global governance, and an absence of a coordinated and effective
international response—all have contributed to a tragedy of historic magnitude, one that will not
be easily overcome."
While it is impossible to predict precisely the course of any revolution, it is important to
assess the likely or possible direction of change. Given that, this discussion paper suggests some
of the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the US Army and recommends one
or more senior leader steering committees the Army should undertake once the immediate crisis
is under control.
- Security, Army, Pandemic, COVID-19
- Political Geography
- North America, United States of America