Defence & Covid-19: Why budget cuts should be off the table
The Corona virus is spreading over the globe, from China and Europe into the Americas and Africa. With its far-reaching consequences for health and social-economic welfare, it comes as no surprise that comments and analyses have focused on these two aspects up until now. The geopolitical impact of Covid-19, however, is primarily considered in terms of its potential to accelerate a global power shift from the United States to China, reinforced by President Trump’s slow reaction to the crisis and his China-bashing while Beijing has launched a charm offensive as a brother-in-arms to countries that suffer most, such as Italy. In contrast, little attention has been paid to the impact of Corona on the role of Armed Forces. We see videos and pictures of the military providing medical and other support to hospitals, doctors and nurses. But what is actually the military’s role in the current crisis? What impact will Covid-19 have on Armed Forces in the longer term? Most importantly, defence budgets are in danger of once more being cut severely – a repetition of what happened after the 2008 financial crisis. Why should this be avoided?
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