Hegemony highlighted in Pentagon vaccination mandate for military

By Lin Lan

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo released on Monday that he is moving to have all active duty members of the US military vaccinated against COVID-19. He will seek US President Joe Biden’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September or immediately upon the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensure, whichever comes first, the memo states. “By way of expectations, public reporting suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could achieve full FDA license early next month.” Biden later responded that he strongly supports Austin’s message.
The Delta variant has spread to many states in the US, and daily new COVID-19 cases have climbed to a six-month high in the country. The US is clearly facing a severe epidemic rebound, and the Pentagon is making vaccines mandatory for the country’s 1.3 million active-duty troops. This shows that the US’ overall strategy of its COVID-19 fight is to maintain its hegemony.
“This is not a balanced vaccination strategy. Ordinary Americans’ lives have never been the priority of the US’ COVID-19 fight. Instead, what the US has prioritized is the most important tool for maintaining US hegemony – the military. What Washington cares more is whether the US troops are in an effective working state, not people’s safety,” Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The role of COVID-19 vaccines cannot be ignored in defending against the COVID-19, which has imposed a sharp challenge to US hegemony. Whether it is policies of the Trump or Biden administration, they ultimately aim at maintaining US hegemony rather than prioritizing the protection of American people’s lives and property.
This reminds people of Brett Crozier, then captain of aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the ship in March 2020. A few days later, he was relieved by the US Navy. Crozier tried to sound the alarm, but he was condemned by Pentagon for demonstrating “extremely poor judgment in the middle of a crisis” and creating unnecessary panic. Crozier’s idea of saving more lives obviously conflicted with Washington’s positioning of the US military as a tool for maintaining hegemony.
The US’ epidemic situation is facing more acute challenges. Some analysts even believe that this may lead to higher risks that the US’ social order becoming more chaotic, and making vaccines mandatory for US troops is to prepare for coping with emergency when needed.
About 64 percent of the active-duty troops are fully vaccinated, which is an unacceptably low rate to the military, according to a New York Times report on Monday. “Because it is difficult to deploy troops who have not been inoculated to countries with stringent local restrictions and because a surge of the virus among troops can cripple readiness,” the report said.
The American style COVID-19 fight is a fight to maintain hegemony. This is fully demonstrated in the US’ undermining international cooperation, discrediting and suppressing China in COVID-19 origins tracing, and its vaccine nationalism. Under the context of the epidemic rebound, ensuring the US military’s working status has become Washington’s priority. The US has failed to directly face its own problems, and is also dragging down the global COVID-19 fight.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times News Exchange Item