In this episode of Talks at GS, former US Defense Secretary General James Mattis gives his assessment of the global response to the pandemic, the state of the geopolitical landscape, and why alliances are critical to US national security.
On the future global response the pandemic: “What we've got to do is understand that we need to have science and international health organizations helping direct these vaccines as we snuff out the pandemic. And, at times, that means we're going to be sending a lot of vaccines overseas… It's hard to do this if you don't have international organizations already in existence, already used to working together, already with communication lines and knowing who to contact in other capitals. This is the value of having these international organizations up and operating at all times… But I think that we will have to determine the priorities and we're going to have to use scientists and doctors to do that… And that's for our own good.”
On the importance of alliances: “For 25 years, foreign policy has been militarized by the United States. That’s not a partisan statement as both parties have done this. I think if we get the State Department back into the driver's seat, we fall back into using the traditional diplomatic tools, we can restore the trust that has been pretty much shredded with our allies.”