March 17, 2020

Pandemic Problem: America's Supply Chains are Dangerously Brittle

By Martijn Rasser

With all the uncertainty swirling around the Covid-19 outbreak, one thing is crystal clear: the methods needed to prevent or contain an epidemic have exposed the vulnerability and fragility of U.S. supply chains. Quarantines, travel bans, and factory shutdowns showed the risks in achieving economies of scale through geographic concentration.

Concerns over certain supply chains are not new. In Washington, DC policy circles, much attention has been paid to areas with a direct impact on defense and national security, such as semiconductors and rare earths. What the ongoing crisis lays bare, however, is the extent of the brittleness in areas that are not considered traditional national security matters but still have a tremendous impact on America’s ability to compete, defend itself and just plain function.

Read the full article in The National Interest.

  • Commentary
    • The Wire China
    • August 2, 2020
    China’s Expeditionary Entrepreneurs

    Beijing has led a concerted push for its investors as well as its most innovative technology startups to penetrate emerging markets and to operate at an increasingly global sc...

    By Kristine Lee & ​Coby Goldberg

  • Commentary
    • July 30, 2020
    Sharper: Global Coronavirus Response

    Analysis from CNAS experts on the most critical challenges in U.S. foreign policy....

    By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens

  • Commentary
    • The Atlantic
    • July 30, 2020
    China Has Squandered Its First Great Opportunity

    America has been lucky that Beijing hasn’t acted with more deftness this time around....

    By Richard Fontaine

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • July 29, 2020
    Can China’s Military Win the Tech War?

    The United States and its allies should take seriously Beijing’s efforts to militarize China’s technological base....

    By Anja Manuel & Kathleen Hicks

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia