Building the Post-Pandemic World

The National Interest

May 24, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has set the stage for the greatest upheaval in the global order since World War Two. China, Russia, Iran and other adversaries of America are positioning themselves to take advantage of the post-pandemic environment and may have significant advantages in doing so.

The United States cannot afford to ignore this reality and concentrate solely on spurring a domestic recovery. Washington must lead an international effort of like-minded democracies—including Allies and friends in Europe, Asia, South Asia and the Middle East—to shape the world emerging from coronavirus in a way that favors freedom, prosperity, and global security.

The “West”— the idea, not the place—remains the most visionary, powerful, resourceful, inspiring, and sustainable hope for humanity. Our leaders must marshal these strengths now to build a post-pandemic world that will benefit future generations.

Much of the world remains focused on repairing the local damage done by the coronavirus and taking international steps to improve preparedness for future pandemics. These are important and necessary efforts. But it is not too soon to begin thinking through the geopolitical impact of the virus and designing strategies for advancing western values and interests.

This is not the first time the West has faced a brave new world and needed to put together a vision and strategy for the future.

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