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COVID-19: How Pandemics Disrupt Military Operations

Sim Tack
Senior Global Analyst , Stratfor
Mar 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Fully protected members of the Spanish Army's Nuclear Bacteriological and Chemical Regiment (RNBQ) prepare to disinfect a train station in San Sebastian to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on March 24, 2020.

Soldiers prepare to disinfect a train station in San Sebastian, Spain, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on March 24, 2020. As of Tuesday, Spain had reported 39,673 confirmed cases of the virus.

(Nagore Iraola/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Amid the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world are facing widespread disruptions to not only the health of their populations and economies, but their militaries. Even if the virus itself doesn't leave key personnel severely ill (or worse), quarantine measures can still severely thwart military operations. Meanwhile, military powers such as the United States may increasingly be forced to deploy additional forces to the frontlines of unfolding COVID-19 outbreaks at home. The resulting fallout could, in turn, result in setbacks in the fight against multiple non-state actors abroad, and potentially even the long-term development of military capabilities. ...

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