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Meanwhile in Kabul the British residency was stormed and its tiny garrison of 4 British and 69 Indian soldiers massacred, but they reputedly took more than 600 Afghans with them.
At the one major battle of the campaign, at Kandahar, the British won decisively. They left with a friendly and able ruler on the throne, Abdur Rahman, who moved Afghanistan towards becoming a much more modern state internally, but quietly left foreign policy under British control. The second Anglo-Afghan war can be seen as a complete British success.
FROM THEN TILL THE END of British rule in India, policy on both sides was to maintain a buffer-zone of small tribal communities who happily raided and plundered in both direction, feuded among themselves, and were the subject of fairly frequent punitive expeditions but who kept British India and Afghanistan apart. Their young men provided whole units of the British Army in India.
For the most part it was in expeditions against these North-West frontier tribes that generations of young British officers including Winston Churchill did their soldiering. John Masters, in “Bugles and a Tiger” is one who has given a memorable picture of these campaigns right up to the eve of the Second World War. As the tribal areas provided a useful buffer-zone between British India and Afghanistan, so Afghanistan in turn remained a useful buffer between British India and Russia, through the spies and secret services of both sides intrigued constantly there in Kipling’s “the great game.”
There was a very minor “Third Anglo-Afghan War” from 1917 to 1919, arising from complications of World War I. This was only a series of border skirmishes and the British found they could control the situation with aircraft until it fizzled out.p>The previous campaigns in Afghanistan don’t tell us much about the present one, except that it is a very tough country inhabited by very tough people. Any army there had better be well-equipped and supplied, well-motivated and with clear-minded military and political leadership. Plenty of helicopters as well as local allies are good ideas. And the Afghan elections of 2004 and 2005 are evidence that most of the people will take considerable risks to prove they are on the side of modern political processes. A recent article in the German magazine Spiegel made the point: br> /p>
The perception among many of Germany’s conservatives is that Afghans are Afghans, and waging war just happens to be in their blood. The best approach, in their view, is to let the Afghans sort out their own problems. Such assessments are nothing but racism masquerading as folklore.
Hal G. P. Colebatch, a lawyer and author, has lectured in International Law and International Relations at Notre Dame University and Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and worked on the staff of two Australian Federal Ministers.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online