Congress and Pentagon seek to shore up strategic mineral stockpile dominated by China

Congress has repeatedly authorized multimillion-dollar sell-offs of the U.S. strategic minerals stockpile over the past several decades, but Washington’s increased anxiety over Chinese domination of resources critical to the defense industrial base has prompted lawmakers to reverse course and shore up the reserve.

The stockpile was valued at nearly $42 billion in today’s dollars at its peak during the beginning of the Cold War in 1952. That value has plummeted to $888 million as of last year following decades of congressionally authorized sell-offs to private sector customers. Lawmakers anticipate the stockpile will become insolvent by FY25.

“A lot of what happened is Congress just getting greedy and finding politically convenient ways to fund programs that they weren’t willing to raise revenue for,” said Moulton.

Congress and Pentagon seek to shore up strategic mineral stockpile dominated by China

Blame China for their greed?! 🙄

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Defense firms push Congress for Pentagon budget increase over inflation

Nice excuse! 🙄

U.S. defense and aerospace firms are asking Congress for a defense budget for 2023 that exceeds inflation by 3 to 5 percent and challenged lawmakers to pass their annual defense bills by Sept 30.

Defense firms push Congress for Pentagon budget increase over inflation

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US preparing to approve advanced long-range rocket system for Ukraine

US preparing to approve advanced long-range rocket system for Ukraine

Senior Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, have pleaded in recent weeks for the US and its allies to provide the Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS. The US-made weapon systems can fire a barrage of rockets hundreds of kilometers — much farther than any of the systems Ukraine already has — which the Ukrainians argue could be a gamechanger in their war against Russia.

The Biden administration waivered for weeks, however, on whether to send the systems, amid concerns raised within the National Security Council that Ukraine could use the systems to carry out offensive attacks inside Russia, officials said.

The issue was at the top of the agenda at last week’s two meetings at the White House where deputy Cabinet members convened to discuss national security policy, officials said. At the heart of the matter was the same concern the administration has grappled with since the start of the war– whether sending increasingly heavy weaponry to Ukraine will be viewed by Russia as a provocation that could trigger some kind of retaliation against the US.

Ukraine is already believed to have carried out numerous cross-border strikes inside Russia, which Ukrainian officials neither confirm nor deny. Russian officials have said publicly that any threat to their homeland would constitute a major escalation and have said that western countries are making themselves a legitimate target in the war by continuing to arm the Ukrainians.

Another major concern inside the Biden administration had been whether the US could afford to give away so many high-end weapons drawn from the military’s stockpiles, the sources said.

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