The COVID-19 pandemic is among the most serious challenges confronting the globe since World War II. Its projected human and economic costs are devastating. While the armed forces of the United States will rise to this challenge as they have others, the Department of Defense will not stop planning for long-term threats to America’s security, from the rise of China and Russia’s revanchism in Eastern Europe, to simmering tensions on the Korean Peninsula and an enduring standoff with Iran. Key to this planning are the investments — budgetary and technological — the nation must make now to confront the threats of tomorrow.
On May 4, Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon engaged Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in a virtual conversation on U.S. defense policy, how the armed forces will ensure readiness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and the investments needed to fight the wars of the future.
Viewers can submit questions for panelists by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by joining the conversation on Twitter with #SecDefEsper.
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After the submarines, I think Europeans really needed to have some proof that something was going well [... With world leaders gathering for the United Nations General Assembly, and with the fallout over the submarine deal still ongoing] there was a need to just lift this irritant. [...] It’s definitely not enough, but it’s a good first step in acknowledging at least that your partners deserve a minimum of respect. One less irritant cannot be a bad thing.