"Whoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.” - - Sir Walter Raleigh.
More regarding the choke point and the important to sea power [that combination of naval force and merchant marine shipping] those choke points to include Bab al-Mandeb.
"Maritime Choke Points and Strategic Interruption"
First articulated as a strategic concept by British Admiral Sir John “Jackie” Fisher in the early part of the 20th century, these choke points are as important now to the Western industrialized nations as they were to Imperial Britain at the beginning of that century.
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In military strategy, a choke point (or chokepoint) is a geographical feature on land such as a valley, defile or a bridge or at sea such as a strait, which an armed force is forced to pass, sometimes on a substantially narrower front and therefore greatly decreasing its combat power, to reach its objective. A choke point can allow a numerically inferior defending force to thwart a larger opponent if the attacker cannot bring superior numbers to bear.
Modern oceanic choke points not all necessarily those as designated such by Jackie Fisher. Click on image to see a larger view.
"Fisher’s choke points were geographical features he believed vital for the Royal Navy’s ability to keep commerce flowing throughout the British Empire"
As listed by Admiral Fisher those choke points to include:
* Hormuz Strait.
* Strait of Malacca.
* Panama Canal.
* Suez Canal.
* Turkish Straits/Bosporus.
* Strait of Gibraltar.
* Cape Horn..
* The Cape of Good Hope.
Those British overseas possessions, variously referred to as Crown Colonies, Protectorates, Dominions, Settlements, Principalities, etc., seen as vital to controlling the various oceanic choke points mostly gone now. An English presence in Singapore, Aden, British Honduras, Cyprus, South Africa, Oman GONE!
The world today is far different from the time and era of Admiral Jackie Fisher. Choke points more or less in the context of naval supremacy and sea power in totality remain more or less the same!