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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 54

Requirements of a Strategic Highway

Requirements of a Strategic Highway.

A strategic line of communication has a twofold aim,—a commercial

Requirements of a strategic line of communications.

as well as a military one: the latter, to enable military forces to occupy strategical vantage points from whence to prosecute a campaign with foregone chances of success; the former, so to run the line in subordination to the military aim that it shall tap the richest producing country in a military sense, i.e., producing wood, grains, meat, fodder, &c., and the luxuries of life, i.e., butter, cheese, milk, fruits, tobacco, &c,

The commercial and military aims do not clash.

and so enable the troops to be well supplied. These two aims are always attainable together, for both military and commercial success depend upon communications and centres of supply and organisation, and commerce has been instrumental in forming these. The best commercial highway is the best strategical line as a rule (see page 16).
In such still primitive countries as Afghanistan, Persia and Turkey

Commercial highways take the best line of country afforded.

in Asia, roads are very much in the same condition as that in which the Flood left them, so far as man's exertions to improve them are concerned. Their alignment has been the result of the majority taking the easiest and best road, and those indicated by the natural topographical features of the country. Time has constituted these into highways, and their improvement has been due to the traffic of ages, which will wear its way into solid rock.