Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire

Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire : Diplomacy and Strategy during the Great Game

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At the height of the 'Great Game' in Central Asia, in the run up to World War I and the aftermath of the second Afghan War, the region of Afghanistan became particularly significant for both Great Britain and Russia. Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire explores the relationship between British and Afghan rulers, during the crucial period of the reign of Amir Habibullah Khan, as the British sought to safeguard their Indian Empire from the threat of Imperial Russia. With Russia's defeat at the hands of the Japanese in 1905 and the rise of Germany as a superpower, the need to end the rivalry took on the utmost importance: efforts which culminated in the singing of the Anglo-Russian Convention in 1907. As the history of Afghanistan becomes ever more crucial for the understanding of its present military and political situation, this book will be of vital interest for students of History, Central Asian Studies, Military History and International Relations.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 33.02mm | 558g
  • Tauris Academic Studies
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 10 integrated bw illustrations
  • 1848856105
  • 9781848856103
  • 1,493,221

Table of contents

Chapter 1: The Historiography of Afghanistan in the Defence of India
Chapter 2: The Problem of Herat
Chapter 3: Events in Russian Central Asia and their Relevance to Afghanistan
Chapter 4: The Dane Mission
Chapter 5: British Strategic Considerations 1903-1905
Chapter 6: British Strategic Planning 1906-1908
Chapter 7: A Diplomatic Defence of India
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Review quote

'Anyone who is engaged in British empire studies needs to understand British India; with it, the fear of its loss; and with that, the centrality of the Great GameA". Christopher M. Wyatt's book powerfully explains the dynamics of that Game at a most crucial time in Imperial, and world, history. The tale is told with precision and clarity; it covers a vital moment in the life (and death) of the British and Russian empires; and it speaks to a moment that is still important today, as contemporary struggles in Afghanistan again have a global prominence, and are understood locally in the context of narratives about Afghan struggles. It is also important to have a volume that looks at the national/international politics of the country at a very important moment in world history, yet one that has been relatively little covered in the literature. It is particularly powerful on the various interests and interplays within the British Empire - and plays well to the importance of particular individuals in particular places, at particular times. The way that Wyatt draws the lessons of history for the contemporary struggles in Afghanistan should be required reading for all those working in that country.' - Stuart Croft, Professor of International Security, University of Warwick
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About Christopher M. Wyatt

Christopher M. Wyatt holds a PhD in History from the University of Leeds, and has taught both at the University of Leeds and the University of Reading. He now works for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
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