COVID-19 has ravaged societies and governments around the world. Militaries have been hit hard too. In the United States, the military has had to balance between supporting the civilian authorities in their efforts to provide medical supplies, defending the nation from external dangers, and protecting U.S. strategic interests abroad, all while ensuring that they are taking all appropriate precautions to protect the health of service personnel and their families. Even for the most powerful and resourceful military force on the planet, this is an incredibly difficult balancing act. In the Middle East, where the United States has a large military footprint, readiness seems uncertain with resources getting diverted, training exercises getting canceled, and soldiers getting sick.
How has COVID-19 affected U.S. defense strategy and posture in the region? What are the implications for Washington’s plans in Iraq and against Iran and the Islamic State? The Middle East Institute is proud to present a panel of experts to address these questions and more.
Director of strategic studies, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies;
Nonresident senior fellow, The Brookings Institution
Michael Patrick Mulroy
Senior fellow for national security and defense policy, MEI;
Co-founder, Lobo Institute
General (ret.) Joseph L. Votel
Distinguished senior fellow on national security, MEI;
President and CEO, Business Executives for National Security
Bilal Saab, moderator
Senior fellow and director, Defense and Security Program, MEI
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