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The author discusses U.S. dependence on overseas sources of strategic minerals essential to sustain its economy and defense sector. U.S. vulnerability to a loss of access to important mineral supplies is more pronounced now than at any time since World War II. The uneven distribution of strategic mineral reserves and their concentration in a handful of politically unstable countries make it essential that U.S. policymakers ensure mineral availability in the new world order. The author considers the geographical imbalance of mineral trade patterns, evaluates the stability of the major strategic mineral producing countries, and assesses the potential for mineral supply disruption. He also examines several policy options for reducing U.S. vulnerability to a loss of strategic mineral supplies including retention and modernization of the National Defense Stockpile.
Strategic Studies Institute, USAWC
Carlisle Barracks, PA
strategic minerals, mineral trade patterns, National Defense stockpile, minerals vulnerability, Mining Law of 1872
Defense and Security Studies | Geology | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
Kent H. Butts,
Strategic Minerals in the New World Order (Carlisle Barracks, PA: US Army War College Press, 1993),