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Intelligence, military still needed

Americans know our nation has been shaken by the events of the past year or so. COVID-19 is only the start of what threw us off track. But reports from the U.S. intelligence community should serve as a warning that we are not alone in having been disrupted, and we’d better be prepared for the consequences.

In its annual Global Trends report, the National Intelligence Council said the pandemic is “the most significant singular global disruption since World War II, with health, economic, political and security implications that will ripple for years to come.”

It is important for ordinary Americans to understand the weight of such a statement, as in many ways the nations of the world are not done experiencing the repercussions of the events of World War I and its aftermath, let alone World War II. All over the planet, people are experiencing “new uncertainties about the economy, governance, geopolitics, and technology,” according to the report.

Think that has nothing to do with us? Think again.

“State and nonstate rivals will vie for leadership and dominance in science and technology with potentially cascading risks and implications for economic, military, and society security,” the report said.

We are going to be pre-occupied with our own recovery for quite some time, particularly given the massive domestic spending efforts to rebuild (should they come to fruition). Many eyes will be turned inward, and that is important. It must not be at the expense of our safety from threats created by turmoil being experienced around the globe.

Our intelligence and military communities will need to double their efforts, for many years to come.

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