2. Cold War and reshaping the global supply chain

This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ F3: Future of Freight Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For more information about the event, click here.

TOPIC OF FIREFIGHT TALK: The Second Cold War and the Reshaping of the Global Supply Chain.

DETAILS: According to former Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, the motivations for global conflicts with China and Russia are heavily influenced by resource availability and supply chain security. FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller asks Hoffman for his take on the ongoing conflict.

ORGANIC: Hoffman has more than 20 years of communications, government, business and legal experience and provides expertise in national defense and homeland security policies and programs, public affairs, crisis communications and government relations. Most recently, he was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the Defense Department’s chief communications officer. In this role, he was responsible for DOD’s strategic communications planning and execution of public affairs, was the Secretary of Defense’s principal adviser on all matters relating to public relations and crisis communications, and was the Pentagon’s chief spokesman. He is the recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Secretary of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal.

KEY QUOTES FROM HOFFMAN

“An invasion of Taiwan would be catastrophic for China. Taiwan is obviously an island, they are very well defended, they learn some lessons from Ukraine, especially in dealing with the usefulness of small unit combat, anti-ship weapons and anti-aircraft weapons. … Most of the Chinese weapons systems and training were built on Russian platforms, and that’s not great.”

“There is no significant economic or military justification for this [China invading Taiwan]. It is based solely on the ideological belief that they are one nation and that reuniting them would be considered Xi’s crowning achievement. … The downside is so great that I don’t know if they would do it militarily.”

“Much of future conflict will be about resources. China is a commodity importer. They need raw materials, whether it’s from Africa or the Middle East, they need to maintain those relationships and I think you’re going to see China focus more on that in the future and how they can protect that supply chain for them, rather than trying to deal with playing around with ours.”

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