How the US Squandered Its Strategic Minerals, by Judith Bergman

A high-tech military needs high-tech materials. It’s not a good idea to leave the provision of such to a country’s potential enemies. From Judith Bergman at

  • While China has been relentlessly pursuing self-reliance when it comes to raw materials — especially strategic ones such as titanium, tungsten and cobalt, which are used in the defense industry — the US for the past several decades has been selling off huge chunks of the strategic minerals stockpile to the extent that the National Defense Stockpile is reportedly reaching insolvency.

  • By comparison, China, as of 2020, was the world’s third-largest exporter of titanium, while the US was the number one destination for the Chinese titanium exports.

  • It is China’s growing influence in Africa, especially through its Belt and Road Initiative, the global infrastructure and economic development project that the Chinese Communist Party launched in 2013, that has helped China achieve such near monopolies when it comes to precious resources and raw materials.

  • The rare earths dependency on China stems in part from the fact that extracting rare earth minerals is an extremely polluting process that China has been willing to undertake, while most other countries have not, including the US, which ironically prides itself on having extremely strict environmental regulations in place.

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