Special Commentary: COVID-19 and Indo-Pacific Strategy: Korea is Up, China is Down, and the US (For Now) is Out

John Schaus, Mr. Nathan P. Freier
Content Type
Commentary and Analysis
The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to over three million confirmed infections and more than one hundred thousand dead globally. In the United States, over sixty thousand people have died and more than 1 million have been infected. According to epidemiologists, this is only the first phase. Thus, near-term “success” against the outbreak reflects a current snapshot in time, not necessarily a permanent outcome. In light of our very preliminary understanding of the long-term impact of the outbreak and national-level responses, there are discernible trends about how countries’ responses are impacting their standing in key regions and around the world. Few regions offer such stark contrast in stories as the Indo-Pacific. In that region, South Korea is up, China is down, and the United States is out. These shifts may or may not endure. What is increasingly clear, however, is that ineffective responses—perceived at home or abroad—will limit policymakers’ freedom of action for some time to come.
Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Armed Forces, Pandemic, COVID-19
Political Geography
China, Korea, United States of America, Indo-Pacific