THE COAST ARTILLERY JOURNAL
of considerable development. For example, practically every positionor group of positions discussed has its field in offensiveas well as de-fensive strategy; only the latter is touched upon. And of the six con-siderations to beheld in mind only the fourth and sixth are gone into toany extent.
is believed, in plans initiated locally, the third has re-ceived consideration equal to if no! greater than the others combined.
his writings Mahan frequently invited attention to the fact thatthe strategic value of a position depended upon three things: Its loca-tion; its natural strength; its resources. Of these, he stated the firstto be of greatest importance. While a position can be strengthened byartificial means, and while resources, if lacking, can be provided by thestorage of reserve supplies, no human agency can movea position fromone geographic location to another.Mahan had in mind, of course, positions of limited extent. Effort ismade in this article to touch upon the strategic strength, both of theContinental United States and of some of its dependencies. As far asresources are concerned little need be said other than that the UnitedStates are more nearly self sustaining, under the standards demandedbymodern war, than is any other nation-that the items of raw materialwemust have the forethought to secure and store are very few in num-ber.
might be mentioned also, as to man power, that we can createa larger force of fairly homogeneous stock than can any other nationexcept China and Russia and, due to resources and industrial develop-ment, can maintain a larger a~mythan either of these. There remainsour location and its natural strength.
has been said that the oceans are no longer barriers-that theyhave become highways. This is true to the extent that troops can bemoved by ships more economically, with less fatigue, and generallymore expeditiously than by other means. But, lacking harbors forbases, and lacking also a complete control of the seas (complete con-trol isnowalmost impossible to secure, dueto the developments in sub-marines and aircraft), the oceans still constitute a barrier that cannotbe disregarded.Certainly there is no comparison of a nation whose frontiers areseparated fro:mthe frontiers of others by several thousand miles of water, with a nation whose frontiers abut upon those of nations of ap-proximately equal power and in areas where the railroad net and roadsystems permit the concentration, on the frontier and in battle forma-tion, of great armies whosesupply is covered and assured by the con-centration. When the possibilities of damaging air attack coincidentwith the declaration of war are considered, the contrast becomes evengreater.