- Newsweek reports that US military planners are looking at range of radical hypotheticals amid the coronavirus crisis
- Should the country’s top politicians be struck down by COVID-19 and civil government be incapacitated, martial law could be imposed
- Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy is the ‘combatant commander’ for the United States and would lead the country if Washington were crippled
- The scenario appears highly unlikely, but there are also current debates about whether armed forces could be allowed to exercise ’emergency authority’
- The military could possibly serve a policing function if widespread violence breaks out due to food shortages or financial chaos caused by coronavirus
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Andrew Court – Daily Mail March 22, 2020
The coronavirus crisis is forcing US military planners to look at ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and prepare for a range of radical scenarios, including the possibility of widespread domestic violence and the deaths of the country’s top politicians.
In a report published Sunday, Newsweek reveals that standby orders were issued more than three weeks ago to ready Above-Top Secret contingency plans if ‘all Constitutional successors are incapacitated’ and martial law needs to be imposed across the country.
‘We’re in new territory,’ one anonymous senior military officer told the publication.
Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy is the ‘combatant commander’ for the United States and would lead the country if Washington were crippled by the current Covid-19 crisis.
O’Shaughnessy, 55, is a four-star general who graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1986.
The Canadian-born command pilot, who moved to the US at the age of four, was previously the Deputy Commander for the United Nations Command in Korea.
He is now the Commander of NORTHCOM, a military authority created in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, with the aim of ‘defending America’s homeland — protecting our people, national power, and freedom of action’.
NORTHCOM operates only in support of the government and other civil authorities, and are charged with dozens of secret assignments, including those to protect the President, Vice President and the Secretary of Defence.
Due to such contingency plans it seems highly unlikely that martial law could be imposed and that Gen. O’Shaughnessy could command the country.
Even if that were to happen, marital law would only be temporary measure, until a new civilian leader was installed.
However, there are currently more pertinent debates unfolding about when the armed forces and its reserves would be allowed to exercise ’emergency authority’, particularly if widespread violence breaks out across the country due to food shortages, financial troubles or other chaos caused by coronavirus.