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 crucial Asia, within the run as much as global struggle I and the aftermath of the second one Afghan warfare, the quarter of Afghanistan turned quite major for either nice Britain and Russia. Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire explores the connection among British and Afghan rulers, through the an important interval of the reign of Amir Habibullah Khan, because the British sought to shield 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 heritage of Afghanistan turns into ever extra the most important for the certainty of its current army and political scenario, this e-book should be of important curiosity for college students of background, primary Asian experiences, army historical past and overseas Relations.

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On the issue of agents, the Government of India strongly deprecated any idea of Russia having, with or without previous consultation, any right to send agents into Afghanistan. Yet there was also the danger that they would try to send agents there even if they had been denied permission to do so. indd 35 1/12/2011 5:38:38 PM 36 Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire In such a case, a ‘delicate situation’ might emerge. 30 The scepticism of the Government of India was undiminished the next day. The Russians had suggested that the Afghans have officials at Sheikh Junaid and Panjdeh.

If the Russians were to invade, it was clear that the British would have, somehow, to assist. The Amir, however, believed that he would not need the help of the Indian Army in the north on the grounds that his forces could defend it on their own. Sir Alfred Lyall, a former Foreign Secretary to the Indian Foreign Department, disagreed and argued that the Afghan army would be incapable of defending the north against Russian attack. The assistance of the Indian Army was therefore vital. 9 Such a situation would have been made worse by the fact that the Amir would not request aid from the Government of India until his army had been beaten and that the Government of India had not proposed to enter Afghanistan until requested to do so by the Amir.

The Government of India, like that of Britain, never really understood either the nature of core–periphery relations inside Afghanistan or the nature of the contending imperatives pressing themselves on the Amir and his court. The result was a misreading by men like Curzon of the relationship with the Amir. While later viceroys’ outlooks were less blinkered, they still knew little of what was really happening in Kabul and even less so elsewhere in the country. Diplomacy emerges in this period as the key to resolving outstanding issues.

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