COVID-19: Potential Implications for International Security Environment-- Overview of Issues and Further Reading for Congress [Updated October 5, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "Some observers argue the COVID-19 [Coronavirus Disease 2019] pandemic could be a world-changing event with potentially profound and long-lasting implications for the international security environment. Other observers are more skeptical that the pandemic will have such effects. In reports issued in March and April 2021, the U.S. intelligence community provided assessments of the potential impact of the pandemic on the international security environment. Observers who argue the pandemic could be world-changing for the international security environment have focused on several areas of potential change, including the following, which are listed here separately but overlap in some cases and can interact with one another: [1] world order, international institutions, and global governance; [2] U.S. global leadership and the U.S. role in the world; [3] China's potential role as a global leader; [4] U.S. relations and great power competition with China and Russia; [5] the relative prevalence of democratic and authoritarian or autocratic forms of government; [6] societal tension, reform, transformation, and governmental stability in various countries; [7] the world economy, globalization, and U.S. trade policy; [8] allied defense spending and U.S. alliances; [9] the cohesion of the European Union; [10] the definition of, and budgeting for, U.S. national security; [11] U.S. defense strategy, defense budgets, and military operations; [12] U.S. foreign assistance programs, international debt relief, and refugee policy; [13] activities of non-state actors; [14] the amount of U.S. attention devoted to ongoing international issues other than the pandemic; and [15] the role of Congress in setting and overseeing the execution of U.S. foreign and defense policy."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46336
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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