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By Christopher M. Wyatt

At the peak of the :Great online game" in vital Asia, within the run as much as global struggle I and the aftermath of the second one Afghan struggle, the zone of Afghanistan grew to become fairly major for either nice Britain and Russia. Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire explores the connection among British and Afghan rulers, in the course of 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 value: efforts which culminated within the making a song of the Anglo-Russian conference in 1907. because the historical past of Afghanistan turns into ever extra the most important for the knowledge of its current army and political state of affairs, this e-book should be of important curiosity for college students of heritage, relevant Asian reports, army background and foreign Relations.

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The importance of the geography of Afghanistan cannot be underestimated; it is a very inhospitable environment in which to wage war. It is a truism that the land cannot supply a large army and a small one would easily be swallowed up and defeated. The landscape, too, is unforgiving. The mountains are all but impassable and the deserts are not places an army would wish to enter. Yet this landscape was one in which the Indian Army would have to meet any Russian invasion. Come what may, the army would need to be supplied along routes running through a permeable frontier.

At the same time, several of the boundary pillars demarcating the border had fallen into disrepair, leading to some small Russian penetration in the border areas. A mission under Henry Dobbs, a Political Officer, was duly despatched to the region to block further Russian intrigue. The mission then went on to Kabul, surveying the Hazarajat on the way, where the situation was discussed with the Amir. indd 21 1/12/2011 5:39:59 PM 22 Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire discussions with the Amir not at all.

This allowed a successful resolution to the Jamshedi Crisis, which would have been a serious diplomatic incident a few years before. In Kabul, the Amir had come to accept the reality of the position and adopted a pro-British stance. This did not find favour at court. As the Ottoman Empire faced difficulties in the years leading up to the First World War, anti-British elements started agitating in favour of a jihad. Once the war had started, the Germans sent a mission to Kabul to try to get the Afghans to invade India.

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