The Strategy of Raw Materials: A Study of America in Peace and War

By Brooks Emeny | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
THE SEVEN GREAT POWERS

THE problems involved in the strategic raw material-situation of the United States, in time of war, present an unusual combination of circumstances. For it must be realized that, except for Russia, this country is the only industrialized Power built on continental proportions. Our very size and the different climate zones which we, in consequence, embrace insure to us a vastly superior position in the products of the soil and sub-soil, both as to variety and extent. With the single exception of the purely tropical commodities and certain minor minerals, in which the blind chance of geological conditions has limited our supply, we enjoy, therefore, a unique superabundance in the foodstuffs and raw materials essential to the development of national power, in the pursuits of peace and war.

But even in the case of the commodities which we would be unable to produce in sufficient quantities under a war emergency, our situation is likewise unusual. For thanks to our geographic position, from which arises our ability to command the territorial waters of the greater part of the American hemisphere, an ample supply of most of the raw materials we lack can be assured from the countries producing them, within our region of control. The significance of this factor can be more readily appreciated through a comparison of the geographic situation of the United States with that of the other Powers.

In the map on the opposite page, illustrating the land areas of the Great Powers, including their colonial possessions, several interesting contrasts are disclosed. The most notable feature, of course, is the large proportion of the earth's surface contained within the sovereign jurisdiction of the United

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