Covid-19 in an Age of Risk

In an age of risk, we tend to ruminate upon the negative effects of our decisions and always find ourselves driven to make a computational relationship between the future and the present. ‎What role has Covid-19 pandemic played in augmenting such state?

by Hazem Salem Dmour
  • Publisher – STRATEGIECS
  • Release Date – Apr 1, 2021

Nowadays, the world is traumatized by the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (Covid-19) that it has changed the realities of daily life worldwide, since this pandemic, with the attendant crisis and its repercussions, threatens the concept of advanced humanitarian security, reflecting all the features of the "age of risk", presented in military, security and intelligence communities after the Gulf War, the invasion of Iraq, 9/11 attacks, the complicated issue of Afghanistan, the emergence of ISIS and the change in the forms of terrorism.

What researchers expect is that the Covid-19 pandemic would be the culmination of an age of risk, and the end of a – contentiously - safe era for at least three consecutive generations.

Since the most important threat that was being advertised in the wake of 9/11 was terrorism, the international community wanted to use its means to seek optimal ways to combat and eliminate it, although I believe that eliminating terrorism is almost impossible. Only tools to neutralize and manage terrorism had to be sought, because most readings of such phenomenon proved that victory over terrorism in an age of risk is no longer possible.

More than that, those interested in the field have presented to global decision makers their recommendations that it is important to look for new tools that are more effective for managing chaos and containing it on the world stage. However, such recommendations were not heeded, and therefore no one can recognize the success of the world in eliminating the terrorist threat.

Some may ask: Is there a connection between the Covid-19 global crisis and the phenomenon of terrorism? The answer, simply and complicatedly enough, is: (no); because there has been no direct correlation between the two yet. However, if covid-19 is proven to be a biologically developed biological warfare virus, it will make it easier for us to link the two together, and to re-frame the dangers of biological warfare, besides a new and more influential variety of trans-geographical international terrorism.

Although there is no direct correlation between the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and terrorism to this day, we must not exclude the desire of terrorist groups of all kinds and origins to make use of chemical or biological warfare in their attacks.

So far, we do not have specific accurate information or intelligence that mirrors the ability or desire of terrorist groups to make use of coronavirus in their future attacks. We have found through some online platforms, that there are some who offer to sell blood and saliva samples of people infected with Covid-19 for a small price, the matter which threatens the safety of societies yet again, particularly as it is a deadly, effective and rapidly spreading weapon.

In his book, War in an Age of Risk, Professor Christopher Coker argues that an age of risk tends to sow doubt about the future, until uncertainty swells and deepens our preoccupation with the consequences at the expense of our initiatives to face risks of whatever nature; all due to poor anticipation. This has made risk management increasingly important in our time, holding world governments responsible for future undesirable outcomes in terms of how they deal with global crises and events. This is especially since in an age of risk, we tend to ruminate upon the negative effects of our decisions and always find ourselves driven to make a computational relationship between the future and the present.

Some believe that the real success in the post-Covid crisis lies in reducing the universal state of insecurity, chaos and fear to levels more acceptable to coexist with; especially since the coming stage and the global warnings about it, in itself, constitutes a new era of unexpected risks.



Hazem Salem Dmour

General Manager / Specialized Researcher in International Relations and Strategic Studies