public on the general status and activities of the materials management system.

  • Evaluate recycling and substitution as additional sources of key materials.

  • Perform risk assessments that take into account present and future environmental constraints on some defense material availabilities.

As discussed earlier, no matter what the future holds for the management of the supply of defense-critical materials, there is an urgent need to improve the collection of information—from both domestic and offshore sources—on the availability of materials for defense needs.

Recommendation 3: The federal government should improve and secure the systems for gathering data and information—both at home and abroad—on the availability of materials for defense needs. It must be able to obtain accurate data on

  • The geographic locations of secure supplies of critical materials and of alternative supplies;

  • The potential for market and geopolitical disruptions as well as logistical and transportation upsets and the risks posed by them; and

  • The use of materials in defense applications, in the nondefense industrial sectors of the United States, and in the rest of the world’s large commodity-consuming nations.


Congressional Budget Office. 1983. Strategic and Critical Nonfuel Materials: Problems and Policy Alternatives.

Department of Defense (DoD). 2006. Report in Response to House Armed Services Committee Request on page 477 of Report 109-89. Washington, D.C.

General Accounting Office (GAO). 1974. U.S. Actions Needed to Cope with Commodity Shortages.

GAO. 1975. Stockpile Objectives of Strategic and Critical Materials Should Be Reconsidered Because of Shortages.

National Commission on Materials Policy. 1973. Material Needs and the Environment Today and Tomorrow.

NRC. 2003. Materials Research to Meet 21st Century Needs. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

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