This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ F3: Future of Freight Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For more information on the event, click here.
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The second Cold War and the remaking of the global supply chain.
DETAILS: According to former Pentagon Chief Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, the motivations behind global conflicts with China and Russia are heavily influenced by resource availability and supply chain security. FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller asks Hoffman about his outlook on the ongoing conflicts.
BIO: Hoffman has more than 20 years of experience in communications, government, business and law, providing expertise in national defense and homeland security policies and programs, public affairs, crisis communications and government relations. He recently served as the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, the head of communications for the Department of Defense. In this role he was responsible for DOD strategic communications planning and public affairs execution, was the principal adviser to the secretary of defense for all public relations and crisis communications issues and was the chief Pentagon spokesman. He is a recipient of both 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’re very well defended, they’re learning some lessons from the Ukraine, dealing with, particularly, the usefulness of small unit fighting, anti-ship weapons, anti-aircraft weapons. … Most of the Chinese weapons systems and training have been built off of Russian platforms, and that’s not great.”
“There’s no significant economic or military rationale for [China invading Taiwan]. It’s solely based on an ideological belief that they’re one nation and it would be seen as Xi’s crowning achievement to reunite them. … The downside is so great that I don’t know if they would do it militarily.”
“A lot of the future conflict is going to be over resources. China is a resource importer. They need raw materials, whether that comes from Africa, whether that comes from the Middle East, they’ve got to maintain those relationships, and so, 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 than try to muck with ours.”