In responding to the coronavirus, the U.S. should apply lessons learned from past transnational threats—but unfortunately, in important respects, the federal government is moving in the wrong direction.
As the threat of terrorism has grown, civilian agencies are increasingly thrust into the national security conversation. The laws and regulations that govern aviation, immigration, and international trade have become key parts of the national security apparatus. Debates over no-fly lists, border security, and the protection of airplane technology now take place alongside those over the military’s rules of engagement or the value of NSA programs. These new debates seem no less likely to disappear.