On April 9, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Benjamin Jensen wrote an article for War on the Rocks entitled “When Systems Fail: What Pandemics and Cyberspace Tell Us About the Future of National Security.” The article uses the concept of complex systems to explore how structural shocks like COVID-19 and cyber disruption can exploit inherent systemic vulnerabilities and produce cascading failures. Dr. Jensen concludes by advocating for “resilience as a hedge against future shocks.”

Failure… is rarely a function of a single shock event. Fragility arises from a combination of factors that interact in unpredictable ways.

Benjamin Jensen

Benjamin Jensen

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

Forward Defense Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security