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China's Ace in the Hole

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Sept. 1, 2010

The 4Q2010 edition of Joint Forces Quarterly features TREM10 presenter, Lt.Cmdr. Cindy A. Hurst,  a Research Analyst in the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

In a powerful opening statement, Hurst highlights the link between resources and national security:

"On February 4, 2010, nearly 2 weeks after the Obama administration unveiled a $6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan, a Chinese article posted on an online Chinese Communist Party–connected daily newspaper site, as well as on many Chinese blogs and military news sources, suggested banning the sale of rare earth elements (REEs) to U.S. companies as retribution."

How important are rare earth elements? Hurst reports that in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Alexander Portnov, a professor specializing in geological and mineral sciences, wrote, “There can be no talk of developing nanotechnology if the country does not produce and use rare elements.” Portnov argues that a country’s extraction, production, and use of rare metals needed for technological innovation are “a precise indicator of its scientific and technical development.”

Read the full report:

http://www.ndu.edu/press/lib/images/jfq-59/JFQ59_121-126_Hurst.pdf