Image credit: Rin Rothback/CNAS

March 10, 2022

The Tangled Web We Wove Rebalancing America's Supply Chains

By Megan Lamberth, Ryan Johnson, Martijn Rasser, and Henry Wu

Washington, March 10, 2022—The pendulum of globalization has swung too far. What the fallout of the ongoing pandemic makes clear is that decades of offshoring and cost-cutting in the pursuit of efficiency and a better bottom line have left the supply chains of the United States and its allies and partners unacceptably brittle. Restoring balance to the system—with greater resilience through reducing dependence on potential adversaries, greater geographic diversity, and a pragmatic approach to building a mix of domestic capabilities and sourcing from reliable partners—will be a complex, expensive, and far-reaching undertaking.

Today the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new report, "The Tangled Web We Wove: Rebalancing America's Supply Chains," from authors Megan Lamberth, Associate Fellow on the Technology and National Security Program; Martijn Rasser, Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program; Ryan Johnson, Joseph S. Nye Jr. Intern at CNAS; and Henry Wu, former Joseph S. Nye Jr. Intern at CNAS. The report offers actionable recommendations for policymakers to develop a comprehensive, proactive, and achievable U.S. supply chain strategy. Key recommendations include:

  • Crafting a supply chain strategy. The United Stated needs a blueprint for how to think about, and prioritize, the security and resilience of its critical supply chains.
  • Promote efforts to improve software supply chain security. Existing governmental efforts to strengthen the resilience of supply chains should acknowledge and address software supply chain security.
  • Establish a network of like-minded countries to collaborate on technology policy. The United States should create a multilateral technology alliance with a core group of like-minded countries to collaborate on supply chain diversification.

The breadth of the supply chain challenge is vast, and it will get only more complicated as time goes on. The United States must do what it can now, in conjunction with collaborative efforts with its allies and partners, to ensure its supply chains are resilient enough to withstand upheaval, geopolitical conflict, and natural disaster.

For more information or to schedule an interview with the report authors, please contact Cameron Edinburgh at cedinburgh@cnas.org

Technology & National Security

The Tangled Web We Wove

The pendulum of globalization has swung too far. What the fallout of the ongoing pandemic makes clear is that decades of offshoring and cost-cutting in the pursuit of efficien...

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Authors

  • Megan Lamberth

    Former Associate Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Megan Lamberth is a former Associate Fellow for the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. Her research focuses on U.S. strategy for emerging technologies and the k...

  • Ryan Johnson

    Former Intern, Technology and National Security Program

    Ryan Johnson is a former Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Intern for the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Ryan recently graduated S...

  • Martijn Rasser

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Martijn Rasser is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Rasser served as a senior intelligence officer a...

  • Henry Wu

    Former Intern, Technology and National Security Program

    Henry Wu is a former Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Intern for the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Prior to CNAS, Henry interned...