THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE STOCKPILE
IN THE SUPPLY OF STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL MATERIALS
Scott F. RomansUSAWC Class of 2008
Colonel, United States Army Reserve
The views expressed in the document are those of the author 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 United States has maintained a stockpile of strategic and critical materials, primarily ores and minerals, since 1939. Since
the end of the Cold War, the United States government has determined that most of the materials in the National Defense
Stockpile (NDS) were excess to defense, industrial, and essential civilian needs, and has begun selling and otherwise
disposing of most of the stockpiled materials. Recent concerns regarding the global availability of materials have caused a reexamination
of the need for a stockpile and how the NDS might operate in order to serve the defense, industrial and essential
civilian needs for materials.
This US Army War College student author reviews the history and current method of operation of the NDS, and discusses two
areas where changes to current methods may be appropriate: (1) the process to determine what materials that should be
included in the stockpile, (i.e., how to define strategic and critical materials), and (2) the manner and conditions upon which
material may be released from the NDS for its intended use.
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This page last updated on 27 October 2011.
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