March 23, 2020

CNAS Responds: Coronavirus Outbreak Tests Every Aspect of U.S. and International Security

As regions across the U.S. announce states of emergency and a growing list of countries restrict travel, close schools, and quarantine citizens, the economic costs of the coronavirus outbreak continue to mount. With no clear end in sight, international and domestic security institutions face a daunting challenge.

March 23

U.S. Political and Military Response

  • Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officer: "Every government is now pursuing an emergency approach to coronavirus – quarantines, travel bans, huge stimulus packages and much more. The missing piece, however, is meaningful international cooperation. For all of the rhetoric about a shared global threat, the practice so far is every country for itself.

    "The United States can help itself by leading multilateral public health and economic efforts. The G7 and G20 are natural starting points. We’re in a major crisis, and the situation requires an international crisis response. The rest of the world will not self-organize. Washington should take the lead in pushing an urgent agenda."
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Director for Middle East Security: "The coronavirus is going to be the biggest game-changer for U.S. foreign policy and national security since 9/11. That is because it is the first crisis since 9/11 that will impact the daily life of every American and also started outside our borders. Once we get over the crisis itself - which we will - the big question will be about the lessons we learn going forward.

    "Will this become a moment for America to become ever more insular and for Donald Trump to promote his "America First" vision of closed borders, a shattering of our traditional alliances, and an end to the U.S.-led international order that has existed since World War II? Or will this moment of shared national sacrifice lead to a rethinking of the American social contract to address the needs of the most vulnerable in our society at home and a call to collective action abroad to deal with challenges such as pandemics and global warming?"
  • Susanna V. Blume, Director for Defense: "Infectious diseases have been a challenge for militaries since the earliest organized armed forces. While it is true that most military medical capability is geared toward treating traumatic injuries, DoD does have considerable expertise, facilities, and equipment to contribute to assist in the fight to save lives during this global pandemic. The department has already begun to bring some of these resources to bear.

    "However, marshaling the full extent of these resources requires leadership from the White House. No other part of the government is capable of coordinating the conversations that must occur about what federal, state, and local health agencies need and what DoD can offer. In circumstances where inefficiency can lead directly to loss of life, this White House team must perform better than its track record."
  • Kaleigh Thomas, Research Associate for Middle East Security: "As the COVID-19 crisis grows in magnitude, increasing tensions between the United States and Iran have garnered little attention. Not only is it highly irresponsible for both to risk war at a time when resources and top-leader attention should be focused on battling a pandemic, this moment is a missed opportunity for diplomacy that could serve to de-escalate.

    "Rather than focusing exclusively on establishing deterrence through the use of force, the Trump administration should be encouraging and creating space for humanitarian trade with Iran as well as pushing for regional cooperation on coordinating a response to the outbreak."

China's Evolving Strategy

  • Ely Ratner, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies: "Amid the coronavirus pandemic, U.S.-China competition is now more manifest than ever. It is notable, however, that bilateral tensions have heightened in recent weeks despite the lack of any significant actions by either side in areas of security and defense or economics and technology, all thought to be the core issues guiding the trajectory of the relationship. Instead, the central fronts of the contest are currently the provision of global public health and control over the dominant narrative surrounding culpability and response to the virus.

    "This powerfully reinforces one of the "foundational principles" of U.S. strategy outlined in CNAS' major Congressionally-mandated study on China: namely, that "U.S. strategy must be both comprehensive and coordinated across multiple domains." Even as the United States must commit sufficient attention and resources to sustaining conventional deterrence and securing vital technological advantages, we argued that Washington must also, among other tasks, strengthen American diplomacy and compete more effectively over ideology and narrative.

    "All of these are urgent tasks ahead and U.S. policy has a long way to go to reflect the comprehensive nature of the competition. To that end, CNAS has offered nearly a hundred specific and actionable recommendations to renew American competitiveness across these multiple domains."
  • Paul Scharre, Director for Technology and National Security: "Crises can bring people and nations closer together or drive them apart. The coronavirus crisis is rapidly worsening the already troubled U.S.-China relationship. After concealing the outbreak and allowing it to grow to an uncontrollable epidemic, the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda machine has been in overdrive attempting to pin the blame elsewhere. The pandemic has brought to light vulnerabilities in vital U.S. supply chains, such as pharmaceuticals. And threats from Chinese state media to restrict exports of life-saving drugs to the United States have understandably heightened American concerns about relying on China for critical items.

    "Washington has been gripped over the past year with an intense debate about the future of the U.S.-China tech relationship, and the pandemic appears set to drive further selective decoupling in parts of the relationship. U.S. policymakers are understandably focused on the immediate response to the crisis, but expect in the months ahead for the policy community to take a fresh look at ways to reduce U.S. dependencies on China."
  • Elsa B. Kania, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Technology and National Security: "The current pandemic is such a tragic situation, including because this outbreak was predictable—and ought to have been preventable. Looking back at the sequence of events, it is shocking and disturbing, yet unsurprising, to recognize how the pathologies of China's Party-state system resulted in a cover-up with global—and deadly—consequences. Nonetheless, U.S. failures in planning and preparedness, despite awareness of the risks and even recent exercises that envisioned responses to such a scenario, must catalyze rethinking of our current priorities and paradigms for national security.

    "U.S. policies, strategy, and planning must fully include biosecurity and global health security as critical components of our national security. We must also recognize the importance of investing in human security and in our medical infrastructure and capabilities, including to support the long-term research and development necessary to advance new techniques and technologies that can facilitate vaccine development and therapeutics."
  • Joshua Fitt, Research Assistant for Asia-Pacific Security: "China appears to be executing a Russian-style disinformation campaign to deflect blame for the virus’ spread. Chinese propaganda usually focuses on presenting the Chinese government in the best possible way instead of focusing on negative stories. But, as news of Beijing’s effort to cover up the outbreak during its critical early stages in Wuhan, as well as the inhumane way the Chinese Communist Party has been enforcing quarantines leaks out of China, state-sponsored news agencies and high profile officials are scrambling to pin the blame on the United States. Promoting conspiracy theories like COVID-19 was planted in Wuhan by the U.S. military is a surprising shift in Beijing's tone that may be here to stay."

Global Economic and Technology Trends

  • Elizabeth Rosenberg, Director for Energy, Economics, and Security: "The government response to the economic fallout of COVID-19 has primarily occurred at the domestic level as public policy leaders seek to shore up markets, vulnerable businesses, and support the working poor. Central bankers and politicians are considering stimulus measures to stem the already building tide of economic collapse, mindful that this is only the beginning and that coordinated international action will be necessary to stabilize the global economy.

    "Multilateral financial institutions will have an important role to play in supporting fragile economies through the coming economic recession, even though the scope of what is needed may be hard to fathom at the present time and hard for even the strongest economies to provide."
  • Martijn Rasser, Senior Fellow for Technology and National Security: "The coronavirus pandemic has exposed how fragile global supply chains are, largely due to extreme geographic concentration of key inputs. Globalized business requires a rethink and a restructure, both physically and philosophically. Concepts like efficiency and optimization have different meanings in this new reality. The U.S. government, in conjunction with private industry and experts in civil society, should lead the effort to identify and prioritize those supply chains that are critical to daily functioning of the country, and audit and map them to identify vulnerabilities and knowledge gaps.

    "The United States, with its allies, should craft a resiliency strategy centered on geographic diversification and supply chain innovations. This crisis shows that selective decoupling is a necessity; it also points to full autarkic onshoring being the wrong antidote. Instead, like-minded countries should collaborate on creating new production capacity for critical items such as semiconductors and medical equipment. To ensure a level of redundancy, adaptability, and surge capacity, this should be done in multiple countries in partnership. The strategy should also foster new investments and innovations in areas such as flexible manufacturing systems, multi-functional materials, additive manufacturing, and automation."
  • Michael Horowitz, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Technology and National Security: "The coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly reshape global politics, just like the pandemics of the past. While the media and policymakers focus on near term response efforts, the intense public health, economic, and social pressure brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic may create new windows for the adoption of technologies previously viewed as immature and still emerging. The great online education experiment currently underway around the United States and the world exemplifies how one industry is attempting to use technology to bridge the gap left when it is unsafe for students, faculty, and staff to congregate together on campus.

    "The coronavirus pandemic has also exposed the vulnerabilities of global supply chains and the “just in time” delivery model. Especially with the pandemic increasing tension between the United States and China, as world travel grinds to a halt and supply chains stumble, the global order that emerges after the coronavirus pandemic ends could look very different from what came before."

Democracies and International Organizations

  • Kristine Lee, Associate Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security: "The COVID-19 pandemic may emerge as an inflection point for the future of global governance. How agencies, such as the WHO, that are tasked with coordinating international responses to crises will evolve in response to this systemic shock remains an open question. The last several months have offered a cautionary tale of what the world might look like with Beijing at the helm of international institutions, as its ruthless censorship fanned the flames of crisis.

    "This should be a clarion call for the United States and like-minded countries to coalesce around shared values—including transparent governance and freedom of speech and the press—and to lead once again in these international organizations, lest they fade into irrelevance or become mere conduits for the CCP’s propaganda and foreign policy initiatives."
  • Will Mackenzie, Research Associate for Defense: "What can a crisis teach U.S. policymakers about Russia—again? In short, President Putin is most concerned with his regime’s own survival.

    "In light of recent public announcements supporting constitutional changes that would allow President Putin to remain in office after 2024, Putin is using the COVID-19 outbreak to bolster his regime’s survival. Despite the relatively limited number of reported cases in Russia—under 500—Putin has used the outbreak to curtail internet freedoms, restrict public gatherings and protests, and has increasingly relied on the use of facial recognition to track and monitor those that break curfew or voice decent against the government. Now more than ever it appears Putin is setting himself up to be president for life."
  • Carisa Nietsche, Research Associate for Transatlantic Security: "There are early signs that COVID-19 could spell disaster for fragile democracies. Crises often give opportunistic leaders cover to strengthen their executive control as, under the guise of decisive leadership, they establish a stronger executive with weakened checks and balances. In Hungary, for example, there is a draft emergency decree before parliament that would allow the government to rule by decree with no end date or parliamentary approval to renew the decree.

    "Further, crises like COVID-19 can eliminate the accountability provided by citizens, opposition leaders, and protest movements. This crisis – and the fear it engenders – may result in citizens trading democratic freedoms for the assurances of a strong, assertive leader. Additionally, the necessary practice of social distancing will take the winds out of the sails of opposition movements, since protests are in effect banned. Democracy watchdogs and journalists should keep an eye on dynamics in fragile democracies that may supercharge democratic backsliding under the guise of containing this crisis."
  • Ainikki Riikonen, Research Assistant for Technology and National Security: "Successful responses to COVID-19 from South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong highlight the power and pitfalls of data access for pandemic containment. Health officials have used location and other information to track the spread of the virus and notify populations of cases through means such as maps and localized phone alerts. Collecting and sharing information can guide government resource allocation and shape the response of locales, but comes at costs to privacy.

    "To balance these costs, a democracy can use legal measures to shape the mandate of the government’s response, as Taiwan has. Citizen consent is key to curtail the threat of surveillance authorities trickling into non-pandemic use-cases. The U.S. government, as it considers how to use data to combat the pandemic, should act with transparency, mitigate privacy concerns, and ground activities in existing legal frameworks established through democratic means. Of course, the success of any approach is contingent on access to data about the novel coronavirus itself—data acquired through testing."

Cyber and Network Security

  • COL Sara Albrycht, Senior Military Fellow: "The COVID-19 outbreak will impact the role and scope of surveillance within the United States. The need to more closely monitor the population may strip away some of the personal anonymity Americans are accustomed to. As health professionals race to track the prior movements of infected people, and police and security organizations deal with reduced personnel, there may be an increased reliance on an array of technologies to monitor, track, and even, potentially, control populations.

    "How these tools are used, and how the data collected is stored while individual protections are lowered, needs to be addressed up front. The instinct to use untested, or invasive technology as an easy answer to human security problems will be strong, but untempered use would have real cost to democracy."
  • Kara Frederick, Fellow for Technology and National Security: "In terms of national security, U.S. adversaries will never let a good crisis go to waste. The recent cyber incident targeting the Department of Health and Human Services–likely conducted by a nation-state rival–was a small foretaste of increased digital risk in this crisis environment. I expect to see an uptick in ransomware and distributed-denial-of-service attack attempts against hospitals and healthcare infrastructure aimed at ultimately delaying responses to the virus.

    "Nation-states will increasingly seek out digital vulnerabilities as most employers move to remote work and expand their reliance on connectivity and system security. But most dangerous will be the coupling of hard cyber attacks with disinformation distribution. This could look like hacking official Twitter accounts to then spread false and misleading information about COVID-19. We saw this happen to U.S. regional allies during heightened tensions with Iran this January. The aggregate of such cyber-related incidents would further weaponize uncertainty, exacerbate the existing crisis, and contribute to an overall impression of dysfunction."
  • Megan Lamberth, Research Assistant for Technology and National Security: "Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen a surge in misinformation on online platforms. This misinformation has taken many forms: inaccuracies about the origin of the virus and how it spreads, phony products that reportedly fight the virus, and rumors that the U.S. government declared a national lockdown. We have also witnessed bad actors attempt to take advantage of the crisis by scamming internet users or targeting government agencies in an effort to disrupt and undermine the government’s response to the pandemic.

    "While tech companies will have to play an outsize role in flagging and removing inaccurate information on their platforms, responsibility also falls to the individual user. Just like our individual commitment to social distancing is critical to help curb the spread of the virus, so too is our commitment to helping limit the spread of harmful misinformation about the pandemic, particularly as more and more of our daily interactions shift to the digital space. In this period of uncertainty, it is incumbent on all of us to ensure the information we are posting and sharing is accurate and contextualized."

National Security Institutions and Workforce

  • Loren DeJonge Schulman, Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow: "With trust in government institutions low, response to COVID-19 may set new parameters for how Americans think of the utility of federal agencies and the public servants within them. This health crisis feels new and overwhelming, but Congress has provided authorities, experts have developed contingency plans, and first responders have trained to meet the urgency of today and tomorrow with competence and humanity.

    "The denigration of what government and its staff can offer America and the world has become too habitual and bipartisan; it has to stop now to provide the foundation for managing a crisis that will cut across every sector."
  • Emma Moore, Research Associate for Military, Veterans, and Society: "Lack of clear guidance on COVID-19 from Department of Defense leadership has led to inconsistent policies across the services. Attempts to restrict troop movement has been limited to non-mission essential tasks, with decision-making left to commanders.

    "Knock on effects have been seen in sick troops and personnel delays that will impact readiness well into the future. While some services have put halts on basic training and OCS, others have continued to bring in new recruits. With projections showing a need for viral suppression for months to come, there is a real likelihood that there will not be new recruits coming into the force in the near term. Squaring the circle of readiness and safety will be an ongoing challenge for DoD. "The impact of an economic recession may show stronger military recruitment in the long term as young people look for reliable work. How DoD leadership continues to respond to the outbreak and protect servicemembers may affect how the services are perceived by the public."
  • Nathalie Grogan, Research Assistant for Military, Veterans, and Society: "The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has significantly impacted the older age demographics, including veterans. As the veteran population in the United States skews older, the novel coronavirus pandemic greatly threatens the health of 9 million veterans age 65 and older, spanning eras between World War II and the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. As of March 22, the Department of Veterans Affairs is tracking 160 confirmed cases of coronavirus nationwide, with a spike expected.

    "A surge in patients at VA hospitals and clinics is challenging VA in three serious ways: treating coronavirus-infected patients, managing the needs of the millions of veterans who use VA for their regular medical care, and implementing the public health emergency management duty of the VA in times of national disaster."

March 5:

  • Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officer: "The coronavirus crisis illustrates an important feature of U.S.-China relations. Most policymakers, even those most focused on competition with China, identify areas in which the two countries should cooperate – climate change, for instance, as well as nonproliferation, and pandemic disease. The recent outbreak should be a case in point; for all of the differences between Washington and Beijing, no one has an interest in seeing coronavirus spread.

    "Yet this paradigmatic opportunity for cooperation has been anything but. Beijing originally rejected the CDC's offer to deploy an expert team to help, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the United States for spreading fear. The U.S. quickly closed its borders to recent visitors to China, and U.S. officials privately distrust the government's reported numbers of cases.

    "The inability of China to work with the United States productively on an issue like coronavirus augurs poorly for cooperation in other areas of mutual interest. Long-term competition is likely to become ever more pronounced."
  • Ely Ratner, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies: "Lurking barely below the surface of the coronavirus crisis is the emergent ideological competition between the United States and China. After all, the global spread of the virus was abetted by the Communist Party’s authoritarianism, as early efforts to contain the virus in Wuhan crumbled under the weight of Beijing’s decisions to hide information, censor communications, silence critics, and disappear activists.

    "Cognizant of the challenge the subsequent outbreak posed to the Communist Party’s self-constructed image of compassion, competence, and technocracy, propaganda organs rapidly fell back on road-tested strategies of blaming local officials and foreigners. Shifting from defense to offense, Chinese officials and state-run media have since transitioned to trumpeting Beijing’s handling of the virus and offering to lead the world in sharing best practices--while overtly questioning whether other political systems would be quite so effective in curbing infection rates.

    "This ideological dimension of the U.S.-China competition will only grow more pronounced as domestic governing systems are perceived as critical factors contributing to or detracting from national effectiveness and influence. As the last few weeks make clear, Beijing understands this and has been competing actively and aggressively in the informational and ideological domains. By contrast, Washington is far behind in reviving ideology as a prominent feature of U.S. foreign policy. In Rising to the China Challenge, our recent Congressionally-mandated study, we at CNAS devoted an entire chapter to this critical vector of the competition, offering several specific and actionable recommendations for how the United States should get in the game of the ideological contest with China."
  • Elizabeth Rosenberg, Director for Energy, Economics, and Security: "The economic impacts of COVID-19 are beginning to take hold but are unfortunately probably in only relatively early stages. More travel restrictions and closures will produce a greater drag on growth and sever supply chains, causing challenges with provision of some goods and difficulty for some in accessing hard currency. In addition to dealing with the outbreak at home, and its economic and social costs, the Trump administration will have many decisions to make about the leadership role it will play in the global community in these dynamic circumstances. The United States can set a powerful example in calling for, and helping to coordinate, robust cross-border information communication and response activities. The United States also has consequential decisions to make about whether, and how, it may seek to support vulnerable states, whether ally or adversary. In such circumstances, meaningful changes to U.S. foreign policy and international relationships, particularly when it comes to the U.S. maximum pressure campaigns against Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, cannot be far behind."
  • Dan Kliman, Director for Asia-Pacific Security: "The coronavirus outbreak represents a major setback to Beijing’s claim to the mantle of 21st century international leadership. The world will not quickly forget that China’s attempts to silence early warnings from its own medical professionals allowed the coronavirus to reach epidemic proportion. At a time when international cooperation was imperative, China rejected American offers of assistance and refused to even temporarily set aside its campaign to diplomatically isolate Taiwan.

    "In countries economically dependent on Beijing, publics witnessed their governments struggle to thread the needle of responding to the coronavirus outbreak without antagonizing China and risking retaliation. Beijing is already trying to limit the damage to its image by playing up its massive efforts to contain the coronavirus after a cascade of failures. The United States should not cede the narrative to China, but rather, draw a clear linkage between Beijing’s response to coronavirus and its unfitness to lead, in the Asia-Pacific, and globally."
  • Kristine Lee, Associate Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security: "Beijing is scrambling to whitewash its early mismanagement of the COVID-19 outbreak by peddling a narrative that it is now leading the global fight against the virus. Perhaps the most brazen example is its advancement of a potential Chinese-led alternative to the World Health Organization. As China jockeys for leadership in existing international organizations and mobilizes alternative platforms, it is systematically undercutting these institutions’ ability to provide independent, objective, and transparent assessments that the world needs in times of crisis. COVID-19 should be an unequivocal wakeup call for the United States and its allies to collectively oppose China’s efforts to hollow out the existing rules-based order and advance alternatives that are detrimental to not only global public health but also to freedom and human rights."
  • Peter Harrell, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Energy, Economics, and Security: "Fighting the coronavirus is going to force the U.S. and several of its leading adversaries and competitors to figure out at limited mechanisms of cooperation. Already, an outbreak in the Middle East that appears to have begun in Iran is spreading to U.S. allies in the region. The original outbreak in China has hopped to South Korea, which is now has the world's second largest number of confined cases.

    "Absent better cross-border information sharing and cooperation, including with countries such as China and Iran, policymakers are unlikely to fully understand the scope of the threat or get it under control. Chinese, Iranian, and other governments need to start being more transparent about their responses and the U.S. should be prepared to step up to cooperate where possible to contain the threat."
  • John Hughes, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Energy, Economics, and Security: "COVID-19 makes it even less likely that the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela will succeed. Sanctions policy against these countries already faces significant challenges, which the spread of coronavirus further exacerbates. Difficulty navigating sanctions makes it harder for entities to get needed support into Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela. All three countries and their allies will likely call out the U.S. sanctions regimes for exacerbating the pandemic. China has already called for the easing of restrictions on North Korea. U.S. priorities will inevitably shift to the immediate threat of the coronavirus, meaning fewer resources devoted to sanctions priorities.

    "Though 'maximum pressure' may continue to be the official U.S. policy towards all three countries, it is hard to see this happening in practice in the months ahead."
  • Rachel Ziemba, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Energy, Economics, and Security: "The global economic impacts of the crisis have been significant and may not be fully transitory. So far the economic impact on the United States has been limited, but will likely grow as U.S, consumers defer activity. Globally, the shock undermined a modest upswing in global global as weaker Asian and European countries exited the slowdown of 2019. The almost-complete shutdown of activity in China, global energy demand shock and other hits to global supply chains and services suggest a further slowdown in 2020. The United States has responded to the crisis with rate cuts and fiscal stimulus targeted at health resilience. More targeted measures, including transfers to populations most affected or efforts to help most affected companies with bridge finance might be more effective than broad based liquidity or broad based tax cuts. With U.S. fiscal deficit already having expanded rapidly, it would be wise to use still ample fiscal space in a targeted manner.

    "The economic impacts of COVID-19 are global and call for strong global coordination, including information sharing. This should complement domestic efforts to mitigate against supply chain vulnerabilities and ensure needed health response. The United States can play a role in working with allies to bolster global health institutions with multilateral development actors including the regional development banks and global financial institutions to provide support to the weakest economies. Doing so would help avoid credit crunch that might weaken regimes and transmit further health shocks globally. Among the more vulnerable countries are those exposed to the reduced global demand for oil including Iraq, Algeria and Nigeria, as well as sanctioned regimes in Iran and Venezuela.

    "Closing borders and issuing quarantines is a natural response to a health epidemic, but it brings meaningful economic impacts that may weaken global demand and resilience further. U.S. officials should be cautious about a knee-jerk reaction towards protectionism and additional tariffs, instead, governments may want to contract with local and global producers to ensure basic needed health equipment."
  • Ashley Feng, Research Associate for Energy, Economics, and Security: "COVID-19 has greatly affected China’s economy and its impact on global supply chains and economic outlook remain unclear. According to official Chinese Ministry of Commerce data, China’s purchase manufacturing index number for February 2020 fell to 35.7, contracting even more sharply than after the 2008 financial crisis. The slowdown of China’s manufacturing capacity has also affected surrounding sectors in China that are dependent on manufacturing plants, many of which are small- and medium-sized enterprises.

    "While the pain has been widespread, it's been distributed unevenly. Some sectors of the Chinese economy, such as real estate and auto sales have been hit, while others, such as online entertainment and food delivery apps have done extremely well. Either way, the aftershocks of COVID-19 are still to come."
  • Megan Lamberth, Research Assistant for Technology and National Security: "The internet has been ripe with misinformation about the coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak. Inaccurate information has been swirling around where the virus originated, how it’s transmitted, and the overall death rate. While social media companies, like Facebook and Twitter, are already working to combat misinformation on their platforms, I’m interested in seeing how their newly released policies on manipulated media will be put into practice during this crisis. Twitter’s new manipulated media policy, which is supposed to take effect today (March 5), provides guidelines for when the platform may remove or label media content that could “impact public safety or cause serious harm.” The coronavirus outbreak is a breeding ground for misinformation, and will serve as a major test for social media companies’ ability to combat misleading content on their platforms."

All CNAS experts are available for interviews. To arrange one, please contact Cole Stevens at


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...

  • Ely Ratner

    Former Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Ely Ratner is the former Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where he was a member of the executive team and res...

  • Loren DeJonge Schulman

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow

    Loren DeJonge Schulman is a Former Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of Studies and the Leo...

  • Daniel Kliman

    Former Program Director and Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Daniel M. Kliman is the former Program Director and Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He is an expert in As...

  • Susanna V. Blume

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Defense Program

    Susanna Blume is a former Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research areas included the Defense program and budg...

  • Elizabeth Rosenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Elizabeth Rosenberg is a former Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In this capacity, she publ...

  • Ilan Goldenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Ilan Goldenberg is the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is a foreign policy and defense expe...

  • Paul Scharre

    Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Paul Scharre is the Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at CNAS. He is the award-winning author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence...

  • Martijn Rasser

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Martijn Rasser is the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Rasser served as a senior intelligence ...

  • Kara Frederick

    Former Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Kara Frederick is a former Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS)....

  • COL Sarah Albrycht

    Former Senior Military Fellow, United States Army

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  • Kristine Lee

    Former Associate Fellow

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  • Peter Harrell

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Peter Harrell is a former adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is a leading expert on U.S. economic statecraft, including sanctions, export cont...

  • John Hughes

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, & Security Program, Partner, DGA

    John Hughes is an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Energy, Economics, and Security program at the Center for a New American Security. He is also a partner at DGA, and Head of Clie...

  • Rachel Ziemba

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, & Security Program

    Rachel Ziemba is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Her research focuses on the interlinkages between economics, finance and security i...

  • Michael Horowitz

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Michael C. Hororwitz is a former Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. He is currently the Director of Emerging Capabilities Policy Of...

  • Elsa B. Kania

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research focuses on Chinese military...

  • Will Mackenzie

    Former Research Associate, Defense Program

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  • Ashley Feng

    Former Research Associate, Energy, Economics, and Security Program

    Ashley Feng is a former research associate for the Energy, Economics, and Security program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research interests include U.S.-Chin...

  • Kaleigh Thomas

    Former Associate Fellow, Middle East Security Program

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  • Carisa Nietsche

    Associate Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

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  • Emma Moore

    Former Research Associate

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  • Joshua Fitt

    Former Associate Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Joshua Fitt is a former Associate Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. He focuses on U.S. East Asian security strategy and specializes in Japanese and Korean ...

  • Nathalie Grogan

    Former Research Associate, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Nathalie Grogan is a former Research Associate for the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at CNAS. Her research focused on the National Guard and military families. Groga...

  • Megan Lamberth

    Former Associate Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

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  • Ainikki Riikonen

    Former Research Associate, Technology and National Security Program

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