America in the World: Sheltering in Place

I On the third week of America’s quarantine against the pandemic, a new think tank in Washington had a message for the Pentagon. “The national security state, created to keep us safe and guard our freedoms, has failed,” Andrew Bacevich, the president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told viewers on a Skype video from home, interspersed with the sounds of sirens and images of emergency rooms. While microbes from China were mutating and coming to kill us, he preached, we were wasting our time hunting terrorists and projecting military power abroad. It was a sequitur in search of a point — as if America ever faces only one danger at a time. When the black plague struck Europe and Asia in the fourteenth century, it did not mean that Mongol hordes would no longer threaten their cities. Nor does the coronavirus mean that jihadists are not plotting terror

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