How to Avoid a New Cold War Over Critical Minerals

Payne Institute Fellow Cullen Hendrix writes how to prevent a return to the zero-sum logic of Cold War resource politics, critical mineral supply chains must be widened at every step. Will the 21st century be the century of the green great game? In the early 20th century, then-First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill oversaw the conversion of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy from coal- to oil-powered ships. Oil was comparatively more energy-dense, easier to transport, and allowed ships to travel farther faster. But the transition to oil-fueled navies in the 20th century meant that, for the first time, projecting military might would require most major powers to rely on energy sources over which they were not sovereign. November 22, 2022.