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The Real Security Innovation Gap

Aug. 2020

If the United States takes one lesson from the coronavirus crisis, perhaps it should be that U.S. security hinges on more than military capabilities. Washington would never accept a level of military readiness akin to our pandemic unpreparedness: The United States lacked reliable early warning; ongoing battle damage assessments; adequate equipment stockpiles; and effective operational tactics, techniques, and procedures—while pursuing unseemly beggar-thy-neighbor competition with our closest allies to import medical masks from Wuhan, of all places. But because a global pandemic lay outside the traditional defense paradigm, the U.S. government was underprepared. Unfortunately, viruses are not the only “outside the box” security vulnerabilities that demand government action.