Global Coronavirus Ceasefire Is Gaining Ground

Pandemic is incompatible with international wars

Which nations are most vulnerable to a coronavirus outbreak? Nations without a robust health-care system can’t handle a major outbreak, and perhaps the easiest way to tell which nations those are going to be is to look at which nations are being torn apart by war.

That’s why five years into Yemen’s war they’re a major area of concern. That’s why 19 years into the US occupation, Afghanistan is seen as so vulnerable President Trump wants to leave before the outbreak gets there. Where war goes, coronavirus follows, and fighting the pandemic is wholly incompatible with fighting one another.

That’s why when the pandemic started, the UN Secretary General made the unusual move of calling for a global ceasefire, and slowly but surely, the call is gaining traction, with most of the world now on board. The US and Russia are the last outliers likely to stop the matter at the UN Security Council.

Even there, the idea of a global ceasefire has enough traction that the idea isn’t dead on arrival. With a vote expected soon, some experts say that a few exceptions may be all it takes to get Russia and the US to stop resisting the measure.

Russia wants to be free to strike in Syria if they feel the need to, and the Trump Administration wants to support the ceasefire, so long as it doesn’t hinder any of America’s many, many wars. Reconciling that is easier said than done.

Which isn’t to say the plan isn’t going forward. If anything, it is a testament to how important the ceasefire is that despite the substantial obstacles, there are still efforts to keep advancing the push.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.