In March, the world changed dramatically with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Stimson was able to respond quickly: Our staff transitioned to remote work and we continued to pursue our mission in this new environment. With COVID-19 now the top problem facing the global community, our researchers were quick to apply their deep expertise to the wide range of potential impacts, providing in-depth analysis to a wide range of stakeholders and the public on the pandemic’s impact on everything from export controls to the nonproliferation regime, from nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula to U.S. arms sales. Of particular note, our regional experts generated early analysis on pandemic response in Asia , identifying lessons in those countries’ experience. We will continue to provide actionable analysis and practical solutions to this ongoing international crisis in the months and years to come.
Supply Chain Management
The pandemic is affecting defense companies’ ability to procure parts and components from countries that have reduced their defense operations, highlighting the need for better awareness and visibility into critical supply chains.
Compliance in export controls has not been disrupted, as many of these functions are already paper-based and do not require physical interactions. However, the pandemic experience may accelerate additional use of computerized records to identify patterns, as officials look for ways to minimize physical interactions.
Material Security and Control
The international organizations charged with preventing the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons are delaying scheduled inspections while trying to shore up online presence and bracing for the impact of national budget cuts on their financial health.
At U.S. nuclear facilities, employees are working longer hours and businesses are coping with infections among staff. The International atomic Energy Agency has created a network to help nuclear operators share information and best practices in their response.
The pandemic has complicated already strained talks between the United States, Republic of Korea, and the DPRK as North Korea has made sanctions relief during the pandemic a top demand.
Existing regional security concerns in Kashmir threaten to draw attention away from the fight against covid-19 as the number of infections begin to grow.
Find more of Stimson’s work on the effects of Covid-19 in Asia and on global security.