Please join the Atlantic Council for a virtual ‘fireside chat’ with Max Brooks, national security expert and bestselling author of World War Z, on “Defense, Survival, and Fiction: Implications of COVID-19.” The event will take place on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. EDT, and will be held online through Zoom video-conference technology. To receive the Zoom link, please register by clicking the REGISTER button above.

The world is only just beginning to understand the pervasive effects and implications of the novel coronavirus. As governments undertake increasingly expansive measures to ensure the survival of their citizens, national security and defense have assumed new meanings. COVID-19 is not a geopolitical ‘actor,’ and it cannot be deterred. But it embodies a profound security threat against which the public expects a formidable defense. Policymakers must grapple with numerous options, from resource allocation dilemmas to disaster relief policies, as they seek to curb the pandemic.

It is therefore imperative in this moment of uncertainty to derive lessons from a variety of different sources, such as history, other countries, and even fiction. Indeed, while perhaps unorthodox for policymakers, fiction offers a wealth of themes which can be applicable to the current struggle against COVID-19, including the psychology of disaster preparedness, the innovation necessary for future pandemic prevention, and the weaponization of public fears.

As the author of World War Z and other zombie pandemic stories, Max Brooks will join us to discuss how fiction and entertainment bear prescient lessons for security, defense, and survival, both during the current crisis and beyond. This ‘fireside chat’ will be moderated by Dr. Kathleen McInnis, author of The Heart of War: Misadventures in the Pentagon and international security expert.

We hope you can join us for what promises to be an important and timely discussion. To receive the virtual Zoom link, please register by completing the registration form below.

Max Brooks

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

Forward Defense Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

Kathleen J. McInnis

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Initiative

Forward Defense Transatlantic Security Initiative

Barry Pavel

Senior Vice President and Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

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