March 22, 2013
The Department of Defense (DoD) recently released the Strategic...
In a recent op-ed in Defense News, NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn discusses just how important minerals are to our national security, noting that they are used in everything from night-vision devices to missile guidance systems to surveillance satellites. Additionally, Quinn points out that despite having our own rich supply of mineral resources, the United States currently imports 80 percent of the rare earth minerals needed for many military technologies.
Relying so heavily on foreign mineral suppliers creates a potentially dangerous situation, as their control of key raw materials has the potential to subject the United States to supply disruptions, impacting our military and, ultimately, national security.
“As revealed by the Department of Defense’s 2013 Strategic and Critical Materials Report, the U.S. faces shortfalls of 23 minerals crucial to national security,” Quinn notes.
Quinn observes that the longer the United States remains dependent on foreign minerals, the longer our military security remains vulnerable. New streamlined permitting policy, he asserts, is the answer. Currently, the mining permitting process can take up to 10 years in the United States.
“Encouraging domestic mineral production and establishing secure mineral supply chains for manufacturers and the US military would put our national security back in our own hands,” Quinn says.