Daily SA: Chinese power shortages could devastate global logistics – Forward Observer

Daily SA: Chinese power shortages could devastate global logistics

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 21 October 2021. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Chinese power shortages could devastate global logistics
  • Senate Dems threat to democracy
  • New subs not ready for war in Pacific
  • Nuclear Posture Review could escalate tensions

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

SUPPLY: Chinese manufacturers struggle to meet demand as power shortages and pandemic closures persist. One Chinese logistics CEO said, “With increased rates for coal and a relatively fixed electricity price, the energy firms have been losing huge amounts of money every day. So they have the temptation to produce less electricity.” Ongoing droughts are reducing hydroelectric power output for manufacturing as the utilities begin heating homes in mountainous population centers. A Shanghai shipper said, “If the crisis continues, it will reduce manufacturing output significantly and lead to lower export cargo volumes and longer lead times.” (Analyst Comment: Last month’s production index in China “broke even,” but worldwide shortages of shipping and storage facilities are impacting consumers. Traditional holiday inventory orders from Asia are delayed or incomplete for many retailers. Despite expanding U.S. port service hours, increased media coverage could induce panic buying, particularly around holidays like Thanksgiving. – D.M

VOTING: The Senate failed to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, with Republicans blocking debate on the floor. Sen. Casey (D-PA) said, “Across the Nation, lawmakers have introduced over 400 voter suppression bills in state legislatures…Today, they voted against voter access, election security, and diminishing the dominance of dark, corporate money in our politics.” The legislative initiative remains unlikely to pass as critics are concerned it would fundamentally reshape election oversight and allow for federal pressure on all levels of voting. Sen. Casey concluded, “Let me be clear: At the core of voter suppression is white supremacy.” (AC: Far Left politicians continue to portray every legislative initiative as the key to preserving or condemning the nation. The notion that the U.S. remains under constant threat of assault from “white supremacists” is out of the progressive greatest-hits playbook, driving political priorities since 2014. Further, the increasingly terse rhetoric from Far Left politicians could again incite conflict between political groups across the country as “democracy itself” is threatened before the mid-terms. – D.M.)

SUBMARINES: The U.S. Navy is under budgeting for the new Columbia Class nuclear submarine. Researchers and oversight groups noted the first two vessels, currently under construction, are several billion dollars short of required appropriations. Policy review says a trifecta of pandemic restrictions, supply chain impacts, and limited funding will “risk the Navy’s ability to have the boat ready for its first scheduled deterrent patrol in 2031.” In response, the Navy is attempting to streamline procurement costs and manufacture components for multiple vessels as Congress debates funding levels. (AC: Replacement of the aging Ohio Class fleet, in service since the 1980s, would provide a modern deterrent to China’s maritime activity. The long timeline to field the electric-nuclear powered vessels could prove a strategic disadvantage given deteriorating relations with China. The new submarines field 16 nuclear-capable warheads, replacing the conventionally armed Ohio which indicates the increased posture of U.S. forces and policy. – D.M.)


Artist rendering of the under-construction Columbia Class SSBN. Credit: U.S. Navy

FIRST USE: The Congressional Research Service (CRS) notified lawmakers of potential changes to the Nuclear Posture under the Biden administration. The “calculated ambiguity” of U.S. strategy leaves nuclear first use conditions unclear as a component of strategic deterrence. The Biden administration is unlikely to change this policy and expected to restate security commitments to allies in Europe and Asia. The U.S. maintains a policy to not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states, leaving China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia on the table for a preemptive nuclear strike. (AC: The affirmation of decades-long policy is likely to draw reaction from China and accelerate their saber-rattling on Taiwan. Recent Chinese hypersonic tests will impact the final version of this report, as U.S. military officials were caught off guard by the communist’s sub-orbital nuclear delivery system. -D.M.)

HAZARDS WARNING

HURRICANE SEASON: Nothing significant to report.

In today’s Early Warning, Mike explores the threats of permanent inflation and recession moving into next year. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

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