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INDIGO News Volume 18, #1 Spring/Summer 2012: Home


INDIGO News Volume 18, #1 Spring/Summer 2012


Volume 18, #1 Spring/Summer 2012

Indiana History -A Generation at War:  The Civil War Era in a Northern Community This work, written by Ball State University History Professor Nicole Etcheson and published by the University Press of Kansas describes how Putnam County was affected by the Civil War and related events from approximately 1850-1880.  Topics covered in this work include crime, race relations, political debate between Copperheads and Republicans, and the efforts or women to reduce the impact of liquor on their communities.  Source materials used by Etcheson include serial set documents, pension applications, Census records including population schedules, 1850 Indiana State Constitutional Convention proceedings, Indiana Civil War regimental histories, personal papers, Putnam County court records and various newspapers.  This work is an essential addition to Indiana History and Civil War/Reconstruction collections. (Bert Chapman).

National Reconnaissance Office History Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance-This resource provides numerous materials on the history of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) which is the government agency responsible for designing, building, launching, and maintaining U.S. intelligence satellies.  NRO was established in 1961 and its existence was publicly acknowledged in 1992.  Its website contains numerous examples of declassified imagery such as the Corona imagery declassified as part of Executive Order 13526. Other highlights of this website include declassified staff correspondence, a 5 volume history of satellite reconnaissance (Perry Histories), and numerous individual histories including Congress and the National Reconnaissance Office (2001), A History of the Military Polar Orbiting Meteorological Satellite Program (2001); GRAB and POPPY:  America's Early Elint Satellites (2005); and National Reconnaissance Office Journal, 2005, 2009, & 2012. (Bert Chapman).

Rare Earth Minerals-Rare earth minerals or rare earth elements are crucial in a variety of civilian and military applications.  These include refining petroleum, building wind turbines, medical devices, missile defense, space-based and satellite communication systems, the automotive industry, colored televisoins, and flat panel displays including cell phones, portable DVDs, laptops, lasers, and radars.  The U.S. has become increasingly dependent on importing rare earth minerals which China becoming a major supplier.  Examples of these rare earth minerals include Gallium, Rhenium, Niobium, Tantalum, and Lithium.  The economic and geopolitical significance of these rare earth minerals was demonstrated in 2010 border dispute between China and Japan which saw China suspended rare earth exports to Japan and produced a bubble resulting in price increases 30 times higher for commodities such as lithium.  Discussions and analyses of this topic may also use the term "strategic minerals."

This is a topic that has captured the attention of civilan and military U.S. Government agencies as well as Congress.  The U.S. Geological Survey has numerous resources on this subject.  It is an issue of increasing concern to the military for its supply chain implications with the following reports being representative examples:  China's Rare Earth Elements Industry:  What Can the West Learn?, and Sustainability of Strategic Minerals in Southern Africa and Potential Conflicts and Partnerships,

Congressional committee hearings include this subject include China's Monopoly on Rare Earths:  Implications for U.S. Foreign and Security Policy and Strategic and Critical Minerals:  Domestic Minerals Supplies and Demands in a Time of Foreign Supply Disruptions.  The Congressional Bills section of FDSYS is also a source of legislation on this topic and the Defese Dept's Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy also contains relevant related information. This April 25, 2012 Congressional Research Service report provides additional background. (Bert Chapman)


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