Strategic Infrastructure

Our “Big Questions” series brings together leading scholars, former policymakers, and top industry experts to tackle critical questions. In the sixth part of this series, we asked a group of experts the following:

Infrastructure is often viewed as a domestic economic issue, but throughout history, key projects have also advanced national security and foreign policy objectives. What does the past tell us about how today’s infrastructure projects might impact the global strategic landscape?

In our first response, Christian Wolmar describes how Britain’s colonial railway networks transformed India’s political, economic, and cultural landscape.

In our second response, David Hochfelder discusses how the development of the telegraph strengthened the relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain.

In our third response, Dr. Catherine L. Phipps argues that the dual nature of Japanese ports for commercial and strategic interests helped reordered traditional East Asian relations.

In our fourth response, Tom Zoellner writes about the challenges behind the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

In our final response, Edward N. Luttwak makes the case for a Trans-Caspian bridge and its potential to transform land-locked Central Asia.

Previous Topics in our Big Question series include Arctic Opportunities,
Asia’s Overland Connections, The World’s Infrastructure Laboratory, Emerging Technology and Tomorrow’s Geography, and Asia’s Unintended Flows.