China Victory Assured With Any US/Iran Conflict

James Kennedy – AntiWar.com May 20, 2019

The outcome of a U.S. war with Iran is as predictable as the outcome of the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. The great ship of state ends up at the bottom of the ocean – everything else is just small drama.

The above is not a desperate cry for caution or pragmatism. It is based on the fact that our military is 100 percent reliant on China for critical technology metals, alloys, magnets, garnets and other post-oxide rare earth materials.

China relies on Iranian oil and has clearly signaled that it will defy US sanctions on Iran. China has also recently signaled that it is hunkering down for what may prove to be a protracted trade war.

A US war with Iran now will turn China’s already powerful rare earth trade-weapon into a terminal nuclear strike. Withholding these materials would not just neuter our military during a conflict, it would shut down every automobile and aircraft manufacturer in the US The shutdowns would extend to what remains of our electronics and green technology industries. It would be pink-slips from coast to coast. China would fill the global demand gap. In short, it would snuff out the few remaining embers of our already crippled economy.

If you are thinking that the US has “strategic stockpiles” of these materials – think again. The US sold off all of these materials in 1996. After repeated warnings Congress authorized the repurchase of a few rare earth oxides and dysprosium metal, none of which are directly useful to our defense industry. A 2016 Government Accounting Office report stated that these materials would need to pass through a value chain “outside the United States” before they could be utilized by our defense industry (read: China). In an earlier report the GAO estimated that it could take 15 years for the US to build a domestic rare earth value chain.

The combined global production of non-Chinese rare earth metals, alloys, magnets and other post-oxide materials represents less that 30 percent of Japan’s internal demand. Japan controls at least 95 percent of the world’s non-Chinese production. Japan is dependent on Iranian oil and will not shut down its economy to support our military adventurism with Iran.

To put things into fact-based historical perspective, the US nearly depleted its global inventory of “smart bombs”, one of many rare earth dependent weapon systems used by the US military and our NATO partners, shortly after initiating military action in Syria. Any US/Iran conflict would make the Syria action look like routine target practice. Once these weapons are used up they can only be replaced if China decides to sells us these critical materials.

The Syrian action suggest that even a limited action in Iran would fully deplete US weapons inventories in just a few months.

China is the only country in the world with the capacity to produce the materials required for our defense industry and our economy: there are no alternatives.

Consequently, China has considerable influence, if not control, over the ultimate outcome of this potential conflict, and it most certainly will be able to dictate the terms that end this trade dispute. This is our Titanic moment in history.

Is this Administration, Congress, our military commanders or the American public going to allow us to board the sinking ship of war with Iran?

Is our Nation’s self-destruction already written into the script?

James Kennedy (ThREEConsulting.com) is an internationally-recognized expert on critical materials and has advised the last two Administrations, Congress, the Pentagon, and various government agencies (USGS, GAO, CRS, etc). He has been an invited speaker to the United Nations (2014) and many national and international industry and scientific groups.

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4 responses to “China Victory Assured With Any US/Iran Conflict”

  1. FAKE NEWS: Yes this story is all fake news!
    RARE EARTH METALS ARE NOT RARE!

    Let’s get some facts into this story. First of all don’t worry about the rare-earth metal supposed crisis. For those of you who don’t know, rare-earth metals are named as so because, firstly when they where first discovered, they were only found in a small town called Ytterby in Sweden, last century. Yttrium, named after the town it was found at, Ytterby, was found not as a pure metal, but as an oxide (for those of you non-scientific, it means Yttrium and Oxygen combination). In those early days, any metal in an oxide form was difficult to handle, that is to separate the metal and oxygen apart. Anyway, that’s why the “rare” part of the name came into play. And why Rare-Earth? Well in those days, like English is so popular around the world today, French in those days was the lingua-franca! And so the french word for oxide, as in Yttirum Oxide, how the metal was found, is “terre” in French. And so you get Rare-Earth. Nothing more.

    There are many rare-earth metals, but relax, except one radioactive, called Promethium which can only be made in a nuclear reactor, they are all found around the world.

    So non of these metals are really rare! In fact, recently a major deposit was found in Madagascar. So what about the China angle? Well you see China has a whole mountain range in the North, bordering with Mongolia AND RUSSIA, that has LOTS of rare-earth metals. That’s right, Mongolia and Russia too have a lot. But because the Chinese can literally pay cents an hour for recovery, everyone is buying from China because of the economic cost of extraction is so little in China.

    So don’t worry about the rare-earth metal crisis. THERE IS NO CRISIS. FAKE NEWS! Rare Earths are found every where, including Europe! It just would cost more to get them.

    I am sure with places like Madagascar and others, you will see more sources of Rare-Earth metals coming to global markets in the years to come. Its only for now, the Chinese have an economic advantage, and nothing more!

    So don’t worry about, your latest flashy high cost Apple cell phones, high performance sun glasses to be seen with on the Riviera, fire retardant underpants, and fancy cooking pots will still be continued to be made, even if China restricts its rare-earth metals to the global market.

    SO RARE-EARTH METALS AVAILABILITY IS FAKE NEWS

    FYI: Where do I get my facts from: I’m afraid I can only refer you to a book and papers, for example, one publication is, Year 2014, The Rare Earth Elements: An Introduction, by J.H.L Voncken. There are many websites I can refer you to, but it is all too fragmented, and I don’t think you’d want read scitech lingo, which I’m used to.

    Don’t worry rare-earth metals are not going to disappear, even if the Chinese are going to make things tough for a while. Its just political scare mongering for the masses. Nothing more.

  2. James Kennedy Is A White Houses Propaganda!

    James Kennedy…SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON YOU!

    James Kennedy is a political hack! He has no experience or knowledge of anything remotely scientific, least of all about rare-earth minerals! Take a look at his biography: James Kennedy: White House’s Nazi Propagandist Version Of Goebbel .

    The man has no scientific background, I quote: “MA in Political Economics and Public Policy”. In other words, he is excels in bullshit and lies.

    The man knows nothing about mining either, has absolutely no experience in running a mine. His so called Pea Ridge Mine, when he became part of it in 2001, was never in operational. And still isn’t…

    Kennedy never owned the mined just the a percentage of the ore rights

    This is what I mean about how Americans are prepared to lie, cheat, steal and create wars to further their economic imperialism, and Kennedy is what of Washington’s evil minions!

    Like I said above FAKE NEWS…and BY FRAUDSTER working for the Whitehouse!

    Note to Truth Seeker Staff: You really dropped the ball on this one!

  3. The point is that rare earths are very difficult to refine and it would take years to set up an alternative supply chain, rocks in the ground are of no immediate use.

  4. @Swede55

    That’s a ridiculous point, about the difficulty of refinement! So are you saying its easier for the Chinese!

    No they are not difficult to refine, it is only a purely economic reason. The Chinese with its VERY cheap labor force, and very loose manufacturing conditions allow the rest of the world to take advantage of paying cheaply for these elements. Nothing more.

    Once again we see hypocrisy by Humanity. They want to stringent manufacturing laws in their own countries but are prepared to throw those laws away when they can take advantage of other people in countries where they are abused with weak laws that don’t protect the worker.

    No, Swede, your wrong. It is purely and economic reason why people by from the Chinese. These ores as I said are everywhere, and so being so, why on Earth buy from the Chinese? When they are very inferior manufacturing capabilities when it comes to mining ores?

    You will soon see in the coming years, many other places will be providing these ores and elements, without any problem in manufacturing. Its just all about the economics of cheap labor! Not about manufacturing processes. You will see.

    Besides, the article was not about manufacturing it was written with a slant to give an impression of the “rarity” of these elements. As I said, FAKE NEWS!