By Major Matt Cavanaugh
There are three conclusions for the military profession to be drawn from the present Ebola outbreak: the threat is enormous, but ultimately manageable; the desired ends are currently vastly under resourced; and the profession’s lack of intellectual focus on the outbreak may result in the nation bumbling towards unnecessary, potentially catastrophic, strategic shock.
A selection, on the threat Ebola poses:
There is also a major qualitative factor that makes Ebola much more threatening than nearly any other contemporary threat. ISIS may do some pretty horrible things on video, but ISIS can’t stop you from showing affection to other human beings. It’s been remarked that Ebola’s “cultural casualty” has been human contact. One journalist posed the seemingly impossible, but very real scenario in West Africa: “imagine trying not to touch your 2-year-old daughter when she is feverish, vomiting blood and in pain.” We often curse terror groups that use children as human shields; Ebola similarly uses human decency against us by preying on our need for human contact and comfort. Consider that in Sierra Leone, people now tap their chests in place of a handshake. This is part of the government’s “A-B-C” public health campaign there – “Avoid Bodily Contact.” Ebola poisons relationships just as much as it does bodies; we might come to a point where “STD” means Socially Transmitted Disease.
ISIS may strike but does not have the ability to impact our way of life like Ebola.Read More