Strategic Commodities 2.0: Global Lithium Supply

lithium supply - Salt-encrusted lake beds, called salars, are scattered across the high, dry, and windy Puna de Atacama. Formed from the concentrated remnants of vast ancient lakes, the salars hold many soluble minerals, like potassium salts, lithium salts, and table salt. The Salar de Olaroz lithium mine is a new facility that will be capable of producing 17,500 metric tonnes of lithium carbonate per year by the end of 2015., cc Planet Labs, modified,,_Argentina_by_Planet_Labs.jpg

New energy paradigms demand new strategic commodities. This article examines factors impacting lithium supply over the next decade.

China’s Foreign Policy Adrift upon Rivers of Sand

China's Three Gorges Dam, cc Dan Kamminga from Haarlem, Netherlands, modified,

To understand China’s foreign policy toward India and bordering ASEAN countries, one must understand its national water crisis.

Japan-Australia Defense Treaty: US Allies Adapting to New Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific

PHILIPPINE SEA (July 21, 2020) The Royal Australian Navy destroyer HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), left, the frigate HMAS Arunta (FFH 151), the landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Canberra (L02), the fleet replenishment vessel HMAS Sirius (O 266), the U.S. Navy forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Teruzuki (DD 116) and HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) steam into formation during a trilateral exercise. Trilateral exercises between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Australian Defense Force and U.S. Navy support shared goals of peace and stability while enhancing regional security and the right of all nations to trade, communicate, and choose their destiny in a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Codie L. Soule/Released) 200721-N-KP021-0168, modified, Flickr Official U.S. Navy Page,

The new defense pact is a concrete demonstration that Washington’s closest security partners are proactively increasing their contributions to the Indo-Pacific region.

Brazil Charts an Economic Course out of the COVID-19 Pandemic

cc Rawlan1998, wikicommons, modified,

Assessing the strength of Brazil’s economy as it attempts to recover from COVID-19.

West African Governments Can Learn from the US Police Reform Movement

cc Flickr yashmori, modified,

There is an element of universality in reforming security forces, and it hinges on accountability.

Zambia Becomes First Post-COVID Debt Default

cc Nicolas Raymond, modified, Flickr

Zambia is expected to become the first country to default on its debt since the COVID-19 epidemic hit. It likely won’t be the last.

Ethiopia: A Geopolitical Time Bomb in the Making

EthiopiaFlag, cc Flickr John Iglar, modified,

Ethiopia’s climate-sensitive economy, growing population, and inter-ethnic conflict make it a geopolitical time bomb primed to explode.

Opportunities and Obstacles in Qatar-Indonesia Relations

cc Flickr Šarūnas Burdulis, modified,

A desire to diversify export markets has pushed Indonesia and Qatar closer together in recent years, but there’s still a lot of work to do before the bilateral relationship can truly flourish.

Tigray Conflict Risks Civil War in Ethiopia

Ethiopian National Defence Forces peacekeepers marching in Hudur capital city of Bakol Somalia on March 19, 2014 AU UN IST PHOTO / MOHAMUD HASSAN, cc Flickr Amisom Public Information, modified,

Long-term Ethiopia watchers can’t help but be concerned by the military conflict unfolding in northern Tigray.

Will the Road to a COVID-19 Vaccine Bring Boom or Bust?

Pennsylvania Commonwealth microbiologist Kerry Pollard performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus inside the extraction lab at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on Friday, March 6, 2020., cc Flickr Governor Tom Wolf, modified,

Vaccine-related optimism might be peaking about six months too early.

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