National Security

Could U.S. adversaries take advantage of the virus crisis?

We are stretched thin with domestic priorities. Is there a power vacuum?

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It reads like a Tom Clancy novel. But it’s real.

Led by a decisive president, the U.S. is dealing with a national crisis that limits resources available outside of our borders. The active duty military stationed here, the National Guard, and reserve units are all under orders to preserve civil order, get supplies to affected areas, and enforce crisis regulations. All civilian and military medical units have been called up to deal with the dramatic situation.

Then a foreign player, a terrorist or an adversarial regime, takes advantage of the matter to attack this country physically or in a cyberattack. It could happen on our soil or at a U.S. military base overseas. It could be an actual attack or a psychological operation where a terrorist group just claims to have released a biological or chemical agent against an America city, state, or domestic military base.

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If terrorists did or if they didn’t, think of the reaction of the population of a large U.S. city to that news, fake or not. Unrest, looting, and worse.

A film coming to you soon? No. These are scenarios that are very real.

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On Wednesday LifeZette spoke to retired career intelligence professionals, including a former CIA officer, who briefed us on condition of their anonymity. They verified the credibility of the scenarios above.

One former intelligence analyst who termed Russian President Vladimir Putin “the Tom Brady of dictators” theorized that the Russians could use the power vacuum to strike in their sphere of influence or farther afield.

Putin made a similar move when he seized the Crimea in 2014, knowing full well the Obama administration would not react forcefully. Putin also invaded the former Soviet satellite nation of Georgia in August of 2008, in the midst of an American presidential election.

The Iranians and Chinese have their own public health problems right now, but they are still not oblivious to geopolitical opportunity. The Chinese are heavily investing in the mineral storehouse of Africa and are making inroads in Central and South America.

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Our current travails could prove tempting to them to increase their activities against American interests in those areas. The Iranians? Our 5th Fleet is not far away in Bahrain. It could prove to be a target for them.

While we are not talking conspiracy theories or doomsday scenarios, America must be watchful and not avert our gaze from the world. Nor should we presently ignore those in it who would do us harm.

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