How Technology Has Transformed the Concept of Security - Part 2

In this second part we talk about new kinds of security threats such as biological by giving the COVID19 example.

Remember, I finished the first part by saying how the means of attack in military actions have been transformed into means of deterrence after and during the Cold War era. This can be likened to the Zugzwang situation in chess. The word zugzwang can be translated from German as a compulsion to move. This is a situation where all the available moves to a player have a disadvantage to the player in question. Since skipping a move is not allowed in chess, any move will weaken the player who is in zugzwang.

Similarly, in the international arena, states are now in the position that any action that they will take may result in their own demolition too. This was the reason why the Cold War was kept from becoming a ‘hot war’, because the US and the USSR were aware of the fact that any move would have destroyed them both. Unlike in chess, states have a choice to not make any moves, so they are now building defense industries that represent their power over others to threaten the international community, rather than taking physical actions like they used to.

On the other hand, these technological changes have caused the emergence of new non-traditional security concerns, as I have mentioned before, for example, biochemical security and cyber security. On the 12th of March, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that the COVID-19 disease has been characterized as a pandemic and is spreading all around the world. Due to globalization and the interconnectedness of the nation-states, which is possible at the highest level it has ever been in human history, nearly all states are facing the many negative effects of this pandemic in areas such as economy and politics as well as the security of the masses. Because of the lockdowns in many states, people are losing their jobs, shops have been shut down, consumption has declined. All these developments have started to lead to a decline in the current world economy according to some experts.

Moreover, in some countries, politics have been affected as well. For example, The Dutch health minister, Bruno Bruins, resigned from his duties after his collapse in The Parliament while the country is still struggling with COVID-19. By looking at these events, it can be said that current security measures that states have taken seem to be inadequate to secure the different realms of the states against new threats like this biological one.

Also, according to an essay from The Guardian, there are some allegations that indicate that the COVID-19 virus may have escaped from a laboratory from Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, rather than coming from a raw bat as it is known. Regardless of whether this theory is correct or not, although there is no evidence to suggest that it is correct, this point of view may raise new questions for the future of international political studies. Such as: what would happen if a state were to modify a virus in a laboratory and create a pandemic to be used as a weapon against others or, how would the world economy or the world politics get affected if a state produced a virus just to profit from the sale of its medicine? By looking at these questions, it can be highlighted that especially biochemical security is likely to become more important for states than it used to be.

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