WASHINGTON — Western militaries may lose access to critical materials needed for weapons and other systems, because of the growing demand for new technologies, questionable supply lines and production in unfriendly or dangerous countries, NATO documents show.
“Key strategic materials are those that are crucial in the manufacture of sophisticated military hardware or components such as airframes, gas turbines, rocket motors, munitions, armor and electronics,” according to a newly released NATO request for information. “These materials are becoming increasingly scarce.” Continue reading
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Resource-hungry Chinese lead railroad drive in Africa
MOMBASA, Kenya, Dec. 4 (UPI) — The Chinese, investing heavily in Africa to secure its oil and other raw materials for their expanding economy, are spearheading a new era of railroad building to unlock the continent’s interior.This is an echo of the long-gone colonial empires when a century ago British and French engineers first opened up Africa to plunder its riches.
The railroad frenzy is being accompanied by a massive push to build several major ports along the coast of East Africa to accelerate exports across the Indian Ocean, mostly to China, India and Japan, as well as lay down a network of oil and gas pipelines to these ports. Continue reading