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Strategic Minerals: The National Defense Stockpile
 
 Sign outside the Sefense National Stockpile Center near Warren, Ohio (Photo: Leon Reed )  

 

THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE STOCKPILE
IN THE SUPPLY OF STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL MATERIALS

Scott F. Romans
Colonel, United States Army Reserve

USAWC Class of 2008

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.

 

SUMMARY

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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