Space and Defense

Space and Defense


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every facet of life across the world. While the United States is the world's social, economic, and political powerhouse, it is no exception to the indiscriminate virus. The U.S. faces economic volatility, social unrest, political polarization, and a devastating loss of American life due to the pandemic. To make matters worse, these crises leave the U.S. vulnerable to opportunist terrorist organizations at home and abroad, who may seek to take advantage of these vulnerabilities, whether perceived or real. While the pandemic appears to be slowing down both in the U.S. and abroad, the vulnerabilities to the economy and social and political arenas can persist long after the last positive COVID test. History shows that pandemics are not merely a one-time occurrence, meaning there will almost surely be another in the future. When this occurs, vulnerabilities will again present themselves and open doors for opportunist terrorist organizations to attack. Thus, it is imperative to explore new terrorist deterrence strategies, particularly strategies catered towards global pandemics and the chaos they invite. To explore the question of "Can we deter terrorists from exploiting the pandemic?" this paper first asks, "Do vulnerabilities in an established regime brought on by pandemics invite circumstances of opportunity for terrorist organizations? If so, how can a power like the U.S. deter terrorists from taking advantage of these vulnerabilities?



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