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McGroarty for IBD: “Time to Make the Connection Between Critical Minerals and National Defense”

“For want of a nail … the kingdom was lost”

Invoking the old proverb dating back to the 13th Century as a cautionary tale and reminder that “the most sophisticated defense supply chain is only as strong as our weakest link,” ARPN’s Dan McGroarty argues in a new piece for Investor’s Business Daily that the time to make the connection between critical minerals and national defense is now.

Against the backdrop of the House of Representatives having added comprehensive critical minerals reform language to the 2019 fiscal year National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), McGroarty makes the case that while opponents may suggest otherwise, there may in fact be no better vehicle for the provisions, because “ensuring that the U.S. does all it can to ensure the reliable domestic supply of defense-critical metals and minerals is about as germane to the NDAA as it gets.”

McGroarty cites the recently finalized DOI list of 35 minerals deemed critical to national security as Exhibit A in the argument to attach the critical minerals provisions to the NDAA:

- “16 of the 35 Critical Minerals appear in a non-classified defense study as ‘hav[ing] already caused some kind of significant weapon system production delay  for DoD.’
- For 22 of the 35 listed minerals, China is either the leading global producer, leading U.S. supplier – or both.

Connect the dots, and it’s clear the U.S. lacks reliable access to a wide range of metals and minerals critical to our military’s advanced weapons platforms — materials that in nearly two-dozen cases, we are sourcing from China, a nation that the 2017 U.S. National Defense Strategy identifies as presenting a ‘central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security.’

That’s a five alarm fire bell when it comes to strengthening the raw materials supply chain in the U.S. Defense Industrial Base, and it’s all the reason Congress needs to include critical minerals language in the National Defense Authorization Act.”

Click here to read the full piece.