Which nations are the most important security threats to the United States? If you answered China and Russia give yourself an “A.” Yes, we don’t like Iran and North Korea and they are a threat, but they are mere pimples on the ass of Russia and China.
The US has become a powerhouse in energy. Beside the economic benefits, this new dominance gives our leaders a new diplomatic”weapon.” Iran and Russia are nearly entirely dependent on oil revenues and their economies could literally collapse if the price of oil drops too far. We can leverage that position.
By contrast the United States relies on China and Russia for strategic minerals. Why should this be so when we have more of these valuable resources than both these nations combined?
[Source: Let’s Make America a Mineral Superpower, by Stephen Moore]
Yes, we hold an important ace-in-the-hole when it comes to oil production, but the US is in the opposite position when it comes to strategic minerals. Mr. Moore informs us of the dire fact that “according to the latest data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. is 100 percent import dependent for at least 20 critical and strategic minerals (not including each of the “rare earths”), and between 50 and 99 percent reliant for another group of 30 key minerals.”
One must view this news through the prism that as recently as 1990 the US was the world leader in mining output. Furthermore, and still more disconcerting is that we do not even have reliable stockpiles of needed metals for military weapons and vital communications components.
These troubling facts seem counterintuitive. Why is that, ask you? Because, answer I, no nation on the planet is more richly endowed with these metals than we are. As Mr. Moore instructs, “the U.S. Mining Association estimates there are more than $6 trillion in resources.”
So why are we not mining these important metals and, instead, relying on enemies to provide them to us? Do I really need to say it? “Environmentalists” are putting up every obstacle in their armamentarium. It takes seven to 10 years to get mining permits here, versus two or three years in Australia and Canada. But the irony of their anti-mining stance is that wind and solar energy are dependent on these metals.
Due to these circumstances Putin and Xi hold important leverage over us.
If you believe you have any talent whatsoever for strategic thinking, suggest the proper course of action. Exactly right (and I don’t need to hear your solution).