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.
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).