Emerging Security Challenges: Overcoming through Solidarity and Cooperation

Session II

Non-Traditional Security Threats: Implications for National Defense


Today, non-traditional security threats are transcending national boundaries and emerging as major challenges in many areas of national security. Cyber ​​threats and terrorism are being exploited as novel avenues of attack, and large-scale natural disasters, infectious diseases, and environmental pollution threaten the lives of mankind around the world.

In effect, the COVID-19 crisis has awakened us to the fact that non-traditional security threats can pose just as substantial a threat to national security and human survival as traditional security threats. Mass outbreaks of confirmed cases on aircraft carriers and submarines have led to a degrading of defensive capabilities, just as downscaling and postponement of major military training events have taken their toll on military readiness postures. To put the ramifications of the crisis in perspective, the Coronavirus is responsible for the largest number of casualties since World War II, and even those countries traditionally considered economic or military powerhouses have been unable to sidestep tragic losses.
The situation has provided us with an opportunity to consider the mission and role of defense in the future. All over the world, with the infrastructure of public and private health care paralyzed, military manpower, resources, and evacuation·transportation systems are becoming spotlighted as critical factors in battling the pandemic. However, we are also increasingly learning that limitations exist in managing unpredicted crises using only the existing structure of crisis management and defense resources.

It is clear then, that non-traditional security threats such as COVID-19 pose new challenges for the field of defense. It is likewise obvious that finding a way to protect the military itself from non-traditional security threats, to ensure that the fundamental mission of national defense can be upheld, must become a priority. A related matter is considering how to most efficiently allocate limited funds and resources in situations where traditional threats such as nuclear weapons and missiles continue to endanger national security. At the same time, we must look to redefine the mission of defense within the context of national crises, paying particular attention to the active role it assumes in protecting the citizens of a nation.

Major Discussion Points

Analysis of the impact of non-traditional security threats on military capabilities and national security

Way forward for enhancing the military's response system to non-traditional security threats

Course of action for expanding the role of the military in combatting non-traditional security threats in public and private sectors