The endless pursuit of lethality combined with perverse incentives for commanders means the U.S. military’s reserve component risks being left in the lurch by the government’s broad response to COVID-19.
On its face, the Defense Department appears to have gone all in on preventing the spread of the virus, initially issuing a flexible guidance that included travel restrictions for service members to Level 3 locations and a five-step action plan to prevent transmission. On Friday, after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, the DoD issued new travel restrictions banning domestic travel for DoD military and civilian personnel and their families save for cases where travel is considered “mission-essential.”
However, decision-making for the RC has been delayed, inconsistent, and largely absent. Some units have performed admirably, utilizing proactive decision-making and outside-the-box thinking to find ways to mitigate health risk while still accomplishing parts of their mission. Unfortunately, others have left their soldiers in the dark with subpar communication, a rigid adherence to pre-planned events, and over-application of “mission essential” tasks.
Read the full article in Task & Purpose.
More from CNAS
Executive Summary China and North Korea pose intertwined challenges for U.S. and allied policy. The Korean Peninsula constitutes just one area among many in U.S.-China relatio...
By Jacob Stokes
CommentaryThe Biden administration just stalled China’s advance in the Indo-Pacific
Australia, by intensifying the military competition with China, could tee up a chain of as yet unforeseen events....
By Robert D. Kaplan
CommentaryChina tariff policies flounder without a strategy
The White House ought to be asking a series of questions. What problem are we responding to? What are we trying to achieve? How will 301s and tariffs further that?...
By Van Jackson
CommentaryNeoliberals, Anti-imperialists, and the China Question
If there are arguments to be made in favor of cooperation with China, or to justify not sweating China’s accumulation of power, they’re probably best made on grounds other tha...
By Van Jackson