Marine Corps Doctrine: The Model for American Pandemic Policy

April 9, 2020 Published Article
RealClear Defense

In times of national crisis, the instinct of federal and state governments is to command and control the situation from the uppermost echelons.  Information is consolidated to high-level officials and departments.  Legislation and regulations are passed to preempt all lower institutions and policies.  Executive orders get issued to cast the widest net possible and cover the largest number of people.  The apparent intent is to give the senior state and federal government officials the most direct access to all decision-making and control over execution.

Unfortunately, in a country of over 300 million people that spans over 3.8 million square miles, the ability to effectively command and control nationwide pandemic policy at the federal (or even the state) level is virtually impossible.  For example, Doctor Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, has stated multiple times that each state and each city will experience its own COVID-19 outbreak and its own bell curve.  Similarly, each state and each local community will have its own corresponding economic fallout.  The aggregate of each city, county, and state public health emergency and economic fallout makes up the national state of emergency.