Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire: Diplomacy and by Christopher M. Wyatt

By Christopher M. Wyatt

At the peak of the :Great online game" in important Asia, within the run as much as global warfare I and the aftermath of the second one Afghan battle, the area of Afghanistan grew to become relatively major for either nice Britain and Russia. Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire explores the connection among British and Afghan rulers, throughout the the most important interval of the reign of Amir Habibullah Khan, because the British sought to defend their Indian Empire from the specter of Imperial Russia. With Russia’s defeat by the hands of the japanese in 1905 and the increase of Germany as a superpower, the necessity to finish the contention took at the utmost significance: efforts which culminated within the making a song of the Anglo-Russian conference in 1907. because the background of Afghanistan turns into ever extra an important for the knowledge of its current army and political state of affairs, this publication may be of important curiosity for college students of historical past, vital Asian reports, army background and foreign Relations.

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While the triumph of the diplomats was a defence of India by treaty, the overarching factor governing the British relationship with Afghanistan was ignorance: actual, accidental and intentional in different degrees as the reality of dealing with that country failed to penetrate into policy. Despite the lessons of the past, the geography was not properly understood. The complications of logistics were ignored. The degree of resistance which would be encountered was underestimated. The belief that a modern army could win was supreme to the point of overconfidence.

The way to do this was to secure an undertaking from the Amir listing his objections to the establishment of direct relations. Such a document ‘could not but considerably strengthen our hands in any future discussions on this subject, and would conclusively demonstrate the loyal attitude of the Amir in his relations with the Government of India’. 55 The following day the India Office informed the Government of India of the developments which had occurred and that an officer was about to be instructed to proceed to Herat.

Once the war had started, the Germans sent a mission to Kabul to try to get the Afghans to invade India. Habibullah held his nerve and managed to steer a neutral course, while having little room for manoeuvre. The contending pressures and imperatives on the Amir were much the same as they had been over the preceding years and the same balancing act was required then as when Henry Dobbs visited Kabul eleven years before. indd 24 1/12/2011 5:39:59 PM 1 THE PROBLEM OF HERAT When Henry Dobbs looked out from the defences of Herat in June 1904, he would have seen around him the field on which the great game would be played.

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