We all know what a devastating impact the Covid-19 virus is having on the world, affecting everything from global finance markets to everyday living, but have we thought of what effect it is having on national security?
Before this Coronavirus infection hit the world, our security and spying networkers would be gaining information & reporting on suspected terrorist attacks and setting the national security machine into action to protect our national safety.
But now, things will be looked at differently. Since the devastating 9/11 attacks, which were nearly 20 years ago now, our main security has generally been focused & been dominated by terrorism, but calls have been placed about broadening this protection to include Global Health security. This has been extremely highlighted by the current situation with Covid-19.
In the future, reports should include outbreaks of viruses & infections in far-away countries, whose governments are trying to conceal it from the rest of the world.
An international pandemic is classed as a ‘Tier 1’ National security risk in the UK, this has the highest priority risk placed on it, but the resources for this risk level have not been reflected in the way it has been dealt with, in comparison to the other risks at the same level like Terrorism, War & Cyber-attacks.
Agencies like the CIA & MI6 will need to change and adapt their usual procedures to find out more information at ‘ground level’ by placing agents in the right place to extract information and report back to their agencies. Satellites will play their part by being used to search for new medical sites and even large burial sites!
New Technology will also have to be developed to scan for health & bio-threats. Also, in the future, A.I (artificial intelligence) will need to be created to analyse complex data to understand & predict population change & developments.
We have a long history with biological espionage, particularly during the cold war with the West & Soviet Union, each side trying to gain intelligence on things like nerve gas and other chemical threats that each side may be developing. In the future, the focus will probably more about Vaccines than weapons for defence!
During this pandemic, it has been suspected that some far-right groups around the globe, have been deliberately trying to spread the virus, using it as a weapon. The US justice department has stated that anyone found to be doing this will be treated as terrorists and will face the consequences of their actions.
The world could go 2 ways after the pandemic has passed, we can either collaborate globally and share intelligence with each country and help each other by passing on best procedures and developments in vaccines etc. OR (judging from past histories of the world) we could close borders and countries become even more ‘introverted’, where we don’t share anything, which would make us focus on gathering information using our ‘espionage’ techniques.
Let’s hope, for the sake of a safe and healthy world, it’s the first way.