Michèle Flournoy, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, was the featured speaker for the May 28 discussion.

Nearly 200 attendees tuned in to hear from two national security strategy experts on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis during a May 28 discussion.

Michèle Flournoy, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Co-Founder of the Center for a New American Security, and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors, and Nuno Monteiro, associate professor of political science at Yale and an expert in international relations theory, held a wide-ranging conversation, part of Jackson’s Virtual Discussion Forum series on COVID-19 and Global Affairs.

Flournoy was asked to comment on whether the pandemic will force the U.S. to rethink its approach to national security.

“As we come out of this crisis, our definition of national security will be broadened to include things like being better prepared to prevent or handle pandemics in the future,” she said.

Climate change mitigation may also become a national security issue, Flournoy observed. “The pandemic will change the parameters of the debate on national security,” she said.

Flournoy also touched on a theme addressed in her recent op-ed, which assessed how different countries handled the early days of the crisis and why some fared better than others, namely South Korea, Germany and New Zealand. Compared to the U.S., Flournoy said, these countries have better social cohesion, greater investment in health infrastructure, and a leader who acted took swift, decisive actions to manage the crisis.

Monteiro and Flournoy also touched on the U.S.-China relationship and possible responses we can expect from Iran, North Korea and Russia.

Watch a recording of the discussion