Special Commentary: COVID-19: Shaping a Sicker, Poorer, More Violent, and Unstable Western Hemisphere
- Dr. Evan Ellis
- Content Type
- Commentary and Analysis
- The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
- The COVID-19 pandemic will have profound and enduring negative effects on Latin America
and the Caribbean, significantly impacting the security, interests, and strategic position of the
United States. Department of Defense and other US senior leaders should begin planning now to
mitigate or manage the consequences.
The effects of COVID-19 on Latin America and the Caribbean, as in many other parts of the
developing world, will be far more significant than is commonly anticipated for two reasons.
First, the virus will likely play out across the region over an extended length of time owing to a
variety of factors discussed later. Second, the pandemic’s mutually reinforcing health, economic,
social, and political effects will combine to wreak far more havoc than anticipated in analyses
that only consider disease propagation or effects on commerce. Together, these two dynamics of
COVID-19 will leave a Latin America that is far sicker, poorer, beset by crime, violence, social
unrest, and political instability than today. It will also leave a region with expanded People’s
Republic of China (PRC) commercial presence and political influence, even while being more
resentful of it.
- Defense Policy, Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
- Political Geography
- Latin America, Caribbean