#COVID19 has been bad news for international cooperation (see @WHO)

But there is bright spot: @NATO!


But why is a military alliance responding to a virus?

While a lot of focus (rightfully so) has been placed on the big multinational/global international organizations (like the @WHO), @NATO's efforts have been going under-the-radar. https://twitter.com/LOS_Fisher/status/1245640351659909120
Though @NATO itself is doing it's upmost to tout its response (this is currently @NATO's pinned tweet): https://twitter.com/NATO/status/1240988878888218626
That response includes distribution of supplies... https://twitter.com/dylanpwhite/status/1245382429445181441
...coordination of actions... https://twitter.com/USNATO/status/1246023281297235968
Now what might surprise some folks is that these efforts are being supported by the United States and pubicized by US officials... https://twitter.com/USAmbNATO/status/1246027373616795648
...including @SecPompeo... https://twitter.com/SecPompeo/status/1253035889086914564
...and @EsperDOD https://twitter.com/EsperDoD/status/1253399984231366663
And who can blame the frustration: @NATO nations have been hit hard by the crisis (alternative hypothesis: @NATO nations more accurately report cases and deaths):
But @drhardt's book is about military missions. Moreover, pandemic response wasn't a point emphasized in the slew of recent reflections on @NATO at 70 (such as this @HDiplo roundtable in which both myself & @drhardt contributed):

So why is @NATO -- a military alliance -- so involved in responding to #COVID19?
Is it due to "securitizing" the issue? https://twitter.com/ProfPaulPoast/status/1233727919022891010
Perhaps, but I think @NATO's response can be more directly linked to it's mission.
First, the Preamble of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty calls for promoting "stability" and "well being", which seems consistent with "stopping a pandemic" https://twitter.com/ProfPaulPoast/status/1245676767723106304
Second, Article III of the North Atlantic Treaty calls for "continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid" https://twitter.com/dylanpwhite/status/1245679321391472640
Third, let's just say "NATO is only about detering Russia".

Fine. Even then, @NATO has a clear role in countering #COVID19.
There is the need to respond to Russian disinformation
And then there is the "Serbia angle": Russia, China, and Western European nations are all seeking to use COVID19 to gain (or maintain) influence with the country.

What could this mean for the future? One possibility is that more IOs, like @NATO, view "health" as fundamental to their purpose https://twitter.com/stephofmann/status/1250463927437271040
In short, with all of the criticism aimed at the @WHO, @UN, and other IOs during the #COVID19 crisis, it is notable that @NATO seems to have found a new mission.

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