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

By Hopkins, Benjamin D. | The Middle East Journal, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

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


Hopkins, Benjamin D., The Middle East Journal


AFGHANISTAN Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire: Diplomacy and Strategy During the Great Game, by Christopher M. Wyatt. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2011. 336 pages. $99.

There is perhaps no more defining legend of Afghanistan's past than that of the "Great Game," the Anglo-Russian rivalry marking the latter half of the 19th century. Christopher Wyatt's new book, Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire, offers a serious examination of the Game and its peaceful ending.

Though Wyatt's title leads one to suppose Afghanistan will occupy a central role in the book, the story he tells is a profoundly British one. The work focuses on the high politics of empire as practiced by ambassadors, viceroys, and foreign secretaries. The characters inhabiting its pages are familiar to anyone who has studied the Edwardian epoch of the British Empire - Curzon, Balfour, Morley, and Minto. Examining the middle years of the first decade of the 20th century, the book documents how British calculations about the defense of empire, and more specifically Afghanistan's role in those calculations, changed during this time. Within this short four-year period, the British imperial establishment moved from an attitude of marked antagonism towards the Tsarist Empire to a negotiated understanding which would serve as the basis of their 1907 entente. Wyatt's thesis is that during this crucial period, the British abandoned a defense of their Indian empire based on military calculation for one based on diplomatic nuance.

Following a brief introduction with some basic background on Afghanistan and Russian expansion into Central Asia in the late 19th century, the book traces the evolution of British strategic thinking during this period by examining six different episodes in Anglo- Russian-Afghan relations. The chapters move chronologically, beginning with the Dobbs mission to Herat in 1903-1904 and finishing with the Anglo-Russian accord of 1907. The intervening chapters focus on internal British deliberations, including the Morley sub-committee regarding imperial defense. Throughout, Wyatt's critical gaze is solely fixed on the British and their own internal imperial concerns. Consequently, the reader is given a highly detailed rendering of the policy back and forth between London and Calcutta which marked the evolving strategies of imperial defense.

Wyatt's volume is a valuable work which offers a well-researched telling of a relatively over-looked, but important chapter of the Great Game. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

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

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.