As the novel coronavirus swept the globe in late 2019 and early 2020, a full-blown pandemic quickly and significantly affected the United States. The public health crisis worsened in the winter and spring of 2020, and it soon became clear that national security institutions and processes were being tested, sometimes in new and unique ways.
This is the background of a special COVID-19 issue of the Journal of National Security Policy and Law, edited by Professor Emeritus William C. Banks: “A stunningly good collection of short articles surveying and detailing many of the most vexing legal and policy problems associated with the pandemic,” Banks explains.
“The articles have been written by internationally recognized subject matter experts who have experience in government, the courts, the cyber domain, public health, human rights, international organizations, domestic military policy and policing, journalism, and several other disciplines,” Banks adds. “Some of the articles take a granular look at aspects of the pandemic, while others widen the lens to look at such issues as leadership.”
Among the articles, Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law Director the Hon. James. E. Baker discusses “Leadership in a Time of Pandemic” in the journal’s lead article, as well as the importance of using the Defense Production Act to its fullest extent during a health crisis.
In his article, Professor Mark P. Nevitt evaluates the responses of different branches of the military and argues that the current public health crisis could be an opportunity to reevaluate the governance of domestic military operations.
The Special Issue groups its articles into categories. The first focuses on who is in charge. A second grouping examines pandemic responses from the perspectives of health, privacy, military, and emergency law. A third concerns information from the perspectives of transparency and journalism. A final section includes an important comparative and international law perspective on cybersecurity and the pandemic.