Domestic Military Operations and the Coronavirus Pandemic


While the U.S. military is tasked with homeland defense and security, in this article Mark Nevitt highlights on the military’s role domestically to provide aid and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. military is currently engaged in the largest domestic operation in American history.

The article evaluates the responses of different branches of the military and argues that the current public health crisis could be an opportunity to reevaluate the governance of domestic military operations. Nevitt addresses the emergency authorities relied on to address the virus, what governs the military’s role to enforce laws, and the military as a provider of emergency aid and relief at the state and local levels.

By Mark P. Nevitt

Mark Nevitt is Associate Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law (Summer 2020). Prior to his appointment at Syracuse, he served as the Class of 1971 Distinguished Professor of Leadership & Law at the U.S. Naval Academy and Sharswood Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He served for 20 years in the Navy as both a tactical jet aviator and attorney in national security assignments throughout the world, serving in the rank of commander.

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