This is a comparative study of national strategic materials policy from the perspective of U.S. national security and, therefore, contains a certain bias. The Committee concentrated on the traditional material of steel and aluminum and on the advanced materials of ceramics, polymers, composites, and the "smarts." The findings fall into three broad categories. First, The United States, Canada, and the European Union still have the remnants of the Cold War's (1945-1989) strategic materials policyJ Second, Belgium, Poland, and Spain are conscious of the strategic nature of selected materials, but appear unsure as to "who" in their country or region can be the most reliable provider of strategic material products. Third, there is a general recognition that the return of the "global commons;" the occasional natural disasters; the apparent world climate changes; the pollution of the habitat; and the growth, urbanization, and migration of the world's population directly affect all aspects of the entire life cycle of minerals, metals and materials, both traditional and advanced.
ICAF Industry Studies 1999