In an emergency, a common response of many public leaders is to instantly shut down. In the interests of public safety, people are often instructed to shelter in place until the threat has passed. But Jared McKinney, a second year graduate student at Missouri State University, has suggested there may be a better way to respond. His article “Handling the Unstoppable Terror Threat” was recently published in The National Interest, a leading foreign affairs publication.
McKinney, a student in the department of defense and strategic studies (DSS), co-authored the article with Dane Egli, who leads a team that studies resilience at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).
The article suggests that instead of automatically placing an area under lockdown when an emergency—such as a terrorist attack—occurs, public leaders should consider the benefits of encouraging citizens to continue going about their daily lives, albeit with a higher level of alertness. Such a response could deny a terrorist his objective: spreading terror.
“I have been immersing myself in the foreign affairs and national security literature and I am excited to make some positive contributions to it,” said McKinney.
He is currently interning at APL in Laurel, MD, where he spends a majority of his time working on Egli’s team researching different aspects of resilience—defined in the article as “the ability to withstand a crisis, absorb damage, recover quickly and adapt to disruptive events”—with a focus on its larger strategic context.
“Long term, I’d like to work as a foreign-policy advisor focusing particularly on grand strategy and the rise of China,” said McKinney.
The Rumsfeld Foundation recognized McKinney’s work by naming him a Fellow, a highly competitive honor. The fellowship is awarded each year to a handful of top students at the most prestigious universities in the country.
“Jared’s efforts and accomplishments have brought distinction to himself, to the department of defense and strategic studies and to MSU,” said Keith Payne, DSS department head. “He demonstrates that students from public universities can be more than competitive with the best students from Ivy League schools.”
The DSS campus is located in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and offers many types of opportunities for its students, including internships like McKinney’s.