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Scenario Planning for Global Computer Chip Supply Chain Disruption: Results of an OODA Stratigame

The OODA team has been participating in “wargame” and red team exercises for over 25 years ranging from traditional DoD Office of Net Assessment games to scenario planning for the Fortune 500.  We have personally witnessed the impact these exercises can have in establishing appropriate frameworks for thinking about future risks and opportunities.  During one of our OODA Network monthly calls, one our members proposed that the OODA Network could be utilized for rapid wargaming on critical issues, with members suggesting the first be on the global computer chip supply chain.

This report is the outcome of our first OODA wargame, which we have branded as a Stratigame (Strategic Game), focusing on the global computer chip supply chain issues.  Over 25 members of the OODA Network of Experts participated in this Stratigame where the OODA research team developed four scenarios and then led a structured discussion in which experts provided unique insights into potential impacts of these scenarios, adjacent risks and opportunities, and recommended actions that would allow us to avoid the negative impacts of a particular scenario or nudge us into a more favorable scenario.

During the time we were meeting, the impacts of global computer chip shortages were highlighted in the daily news as ships queued off the coast of California and auto dealership lots remained empty for lack of inventory.  While it might be disruptive to the U.S. economy to not be able to meet product demand due to these shortages, we also wanted to consider what the longer-term impact to innovation and global cyber risk might be if such shortages persisted.   Given the national strategic and economic advantage of Artificial Intelligence, would the U.S. fall behind without access to the latest compute chips?  What other areas of innovation would be impacted?  If we establish a stable supply chain that is primarily dependent on foreign sourcing, do we introduce cybersecurity risks similar to the concerns expressed over 5G networking technology?

As we race towards the future, a Stratigame like this will not provide for universal truths, but I am struck with one persistent thought; computer chip supply chains are essential to our national and economic security and our dependency on foreign production of these chips within adversarial regimes creates an impactful vulnerability that we must move to immediate mitigate.

Please let us know what you think of this exercise and the associated report and also know that I accept full responsibility for naming the four scenarios after Prince songs.

 

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Matt Devost

Matt Devost

Matthew G. Devost is the CEO & Co-Founder of OODA LLC. Matt is a technologist, entrepreneur, and international security expert specializing in counterterrorism, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence, risk management and cyber-security issues. Matt co-founded the cyber security consultancy FusionX from 2010-2017. Matt was President & CEO of the Terrorism Research Center/Total Intel from 1996-2009. For a full bio, please see www.devost.net