“A Biodefense Fusion Center to Improve Disease Surveillance and Early Warnings to Enhance National Security,” is the title of a paper by Michael Baker, Jacob Baker, Deon Canyon, and Sebastian Kevany, for Security Nexus. This paper discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the need to establish a BioDefense Fusion Center to enhance coordination and to protect national security.
Intelligence gathering that includes disease surveillance is an important early warning tool that strengthens decision-making capability and national security. U.S. military, medical assets, and intelligence agencies – and those of our allies are crucial for early detection and response in the future fights against emergent disease outbreaks.
It is time to establish a BioDefense Fusion Center. Our intelligence agencies, laboratories, civilian institutions, assets of our allies and partner nations, social media and data mining can be interwoven with technology and leveraged for mutual defense. The basic pillars of an early warning system are already in place and must be better funded and coordinated going forward.
Alliances, partnerships, and interconnectivity need to be improved and coordinated between the U.S. and foreign governments, independent social media data miners, and other assets that can support this mission. These efforts need increased funding and intensive collaboration efforts to weave their information into an international biodefense shield with our allied security partners.
Drs. Canyon and Kevany are professors at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) in Honolulu, USA. The views expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the DKI APCSS or the United States Government.
Security Nexus is a peer-reviewed, online journal published by the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.