The Downside of Securitizing the Ebola Virus -Council on Foreign Relations


“The logic of securitization often works against effective risk management. A study published in the medical journal The Lancet estimated that the risk of Ebola spreading to the United States was only 13 percent of the risk of spread to the United Kingdom or France combined. The securitization approach, however, often leads to heavy-handed government interventions that do not differentiate actual risks posed to communities, states, and populations.”

Pentagon: global warming will change how US military trains and goes to war -The Guardian


“Climate change to become immediate factor for all strategic, operational and planning decisions ”

Here is an interesting article on how environmental issues are impacting military planning. Environmental issues are not identified as a threat (that is, they are not ‘securitized’), but they are conceptualized as a “threat multiplier” and a complicating factor with wide ranging implications for planning and budgetary decisions. Courtesy of Dr. Brad Walters.

John Kerry: Other countries aren’t doing enough to stop Ebola -Washington Post


Here is a break down on the contributions being made to stop Ebola.


When the data is adjusted to reflect contributions as a % of nominal GDP the US contribution does not look so impressive (Go Netherlands!). But Kerry’s main point remains -there is a 306 Million shortfall.
The Adjusted statistics are courtesy of Dr. Rex Brynen at McGill University -Thanks Rex!


Obama says Ebola outbreak is ‘global security threat’ -BBC


And now, the war on Ebola…

Using the term security threat for a health issue can be a double-edged sword. On one side, once something is labelled a security threat it becomes a priority. It receives attention, funding and a degree of political commitment it probably not otherwise get. The human security literature has long complained that we need to open up the term security to include things like health, poverty and economic development so they get the type of attention traditionally reserved for ‘high politics’ i.e. military issues. However, securitizing health issues (labeling a disease as a security threat) can mean that the problem is approached like a traditional military security threat. The main concern becomes how to protect the capacity and interests of the state, and those infected by the disease are not seen as its victims, but as part of the threat.

See William Aldis, 2008. “Health security as a public health concept: a critical analysis” Health and Policy Planning 23(6), 369-375.