IN drawing conclusions upon the evidence presented in the preceding chapters, a temptation arises to make general inferences therefrom which, though obviously related to still broader questions of import, have not been thoroughly established in fact. For assuredly the national and international implications of the analysis which has been made of the situation of the United States in strategic raw materials, particularly when compared to that of the other Powers, are both varied and highly significant. But as was clearly indicated in the Introduction, the raw material position of any state can only be taken as one factor of its national power. And although it has a direct bearing upon the importance of other factors, geographic, demographic, economic, political, and strategic, these in turn should likewise be thoroughly explored before definite conclusions are drawn as to the individual and collective relationship of all to the broader problems of national foreign policy.
Inasmuch, therefore, as the pages of this book have been primarily devoted to a factual study of the strategic raw materials of the United States, with secondary consideration given to a comparison of our position with that of the other Powers, our immediate task is to indicate briefly the specific conclusions to be drawn therefrom.
It is evident from our analysis that, of the twenty-six different commodities, the problem of procuring which in time of war is considered sufficiently difficult by the War Department to warrant their being classed as "strategic," no more than five or six of these are of really vital concern. Of the metallic members of this group, there is no question but what the purchase of a stock pile for war, adequate to cover a large portion of the probable industrial needs, should be made in the case of manganese, with lesser amounts for chromite and