Last week, the American Resources Policy Network had the honor of organizing and participating in a confidential, invitation-only session on strategic and critical materials identified by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency/Strategic Materials (DLA/SM) and the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA).
The event is part of a series of sessions American Resources has been asked to organize in the context of the 2015 National Defense Stockpile (NDS) Requirements Report process, the goal of which is to assess potential shortfalls in strategic and critical metals.
Coincidentally, the first session took place only days after a new research report directs attention to the “gaps in our armor” stemming from the United States’ over-reliance on foreign minerals to meet our nation’s defense industrial base’s needs.
We’re thrilled to be part of a conversation the importance of which cannot be stressed enough. In our 2012 report “Reviewing Risk: Critical Metals & National Security” we outlined the extent of the United States’ overreliance on foreign supplies of critical minerals, and found that for 87% of these metals and minerals, domestic resources do exist.
Meanwhile, Behre Dolbear, the renowned mining investment advisory firm, once again had the United States tied for last place with Papua New Guinea for permitting delays in their annual political assessment of the mining industry. Far from being just another statistic, the ranking is indicative of a problem which carries a high price tag, as it places America at a disadvantage in the global race for critical resources and costs jobs – as the recent layoff announcements at a U.S. mining equipment plant owned by Caterpillar show.
It’s an issue that warrants attention, as both our defense industrial and overall manufacturing base — and consequently our national security and economy — would benefit from a policy overhaul that maximizes our vast domestic mineral potential.