Strategic Minerals: A Chinese Threat to US Security?
Then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates talks with the press on the Great Wall of China in Mutianyu, China, in January 2011 (Photo: USAF Master Sergeant Jerry Morrison )  



Dr. Kent Hughes Butts
Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College

Mr. Brent Bankus
Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College

2LT Adam Norris
U.S. Forces, South Korea

The views expressed in the document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.



The vitality of a powerful nation depends upon its ability to secure access to the strategic resources necessary to sustain its economy and produce effective weapons for defense. This is especially true for the world's two largest economies, those of the United States and China, both similarly import dependent for large quantities of their strategic minerals. Because China's economy and resource import dependence continue to grow at a high rate it has adopted a geopolitical strategy to secure strategic resources. China's resulting role in the mineral trade has increased Western security community concern over strategic minerals to its highest point since the end of the Cold War.

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