News Release

Pandemic Highlights Bipartisan Interventionist — Rather than Security — Goals


GARETH PORTER, porter.gareth50 at, @GarethPorter
Investigative historian and journalist on the national security state, Porter recently wrote: “On Thursday, the captain of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, on which the virus was reportedly spreading, was relieved of command. He was blamed by his superiors for the leak of a letter he wrote warning the Navy that failure to act rapidly threatened the health of his 5,000 sailors.

“Secretary of Defense Mark Esper justified his decision to continue many military activities as usual by declaring these activities are ‘critical to national security.’ But does anyone truly believe there is a military threat on the horizon that the Pentagon must prepare for right now? It is widely understood outside the Pentagon that the only real threat to that security is the coronavirus itself.

“Esper’s decisions reflect a deeply ingrained Pentagon habit of protecting its parochial military interests at the expense of the health of American troops.” See his latest piece in the American Conservative: “How Generals Fueled 1918 Flu Pandemic To Win Their World War.”

Porter also recently wrote: “Pompeo and Netanyahu paved a path to war with Iran, and They’re Pushing Trump Again” which states: “Shockingly, Pompeo has exploited the coronavirus pandemic to impose even harsher sanctions on Iran while intimidating foreign businesses to prevent urgently needed medical supplies from entering the country. The approaching presidential election gives both Pompeo and Netanyahu a powerful reason to plot another strike, or a series of strikes aimed at drawing the U.S. into a potential Israeli confrontation with Iran.”

And in “As Washington Privatized Pandemic Preparation, the National Security State Left Americans Defenseless Against Coronavirus” for The Grayzone, Porter writes: “Donald Trump’s failure to act decisively to control the coronavirus pandemic has likely made the COVID-19 pandemic far more lethal than it should have been. But the reasons behind [the] failure to get protective and life-saving equipment like masks and ventilators into the hands of health workers and hospitals run deeper than Trump’s self-centered recklessness.

“Both the Obama and Trump administrations quietly delegated state and local authorities with the essential national security responsibility for obtaining and distributing these vital items. The failure of leadership was compounded [by] the lack of any federal power center that embraced the idea that guarding for a pandemic was at least as important to national security as preparing for war.”