|About the Book|
In 1919, Afghanistan invaded British India and precipitated the short Third Anglo-Afghan War. Although this Anglo-Afghan War was more limited than the first two, it drove defeated Afghanistan toward Revolutionary Russia. The Kingdom of AfghanistanMoreIn 1919, Afghanistan invaded British India and precipitated the short Third Anglo-Afghan War. Although this Anglo-Afghan War was more limited than the first two, it drove defeated Afghanistan toward Revolutionary Russia. The Kingdom of Afghanistan worried about Britains intentions and so Afghanistan became the first country to recognize the new Bolshevik government. Relations improved to the point that In May 1921, the Kingdom of Afghanistan signed a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union. The British perceived the recognition and the treaty as a threat to British India. There were fears that Britain would invade Afghanistan and the Workers and Peasants Red Army (RKKA) began preparations to aid Afghanistan. Britain was still actively aiding the holdout elements of the White Army in the Russian civil war. The Soviet Union needed to finish their civil war and prepare to deal with Britain and the Soviet southern border. The most decisive way was to invade British India through Afghanistan. The second way was to prepare to counterattack a British invasion. The Soviets put their best regional scholar, General Andrei Snesarev, on the job. Snesarevs lectures in 1919 and 1920 were part of this preparation. Students of the Oriental Department of the RKKA Military Academy would lead the Soviet aid effort to Afghanistan. Snesarevs knowledge was critical and so his lectures were taken down by stenographers and then printed as a book. The expected British invasion did not materialize, but the thoroughness of Snesarevs works and his presentation of materials from a military specialists point of view served the Soviet planners decades later during their invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Snesarevs work still has relevance today. His book was not available to the Russian public until recently and has not been available in English until this printing. Snesarevs book presents the geography, terrain, climate, natural resources, ethnic groups, history, languages, government, law, bureaucracy, economy, taxation, military industry, military qualities of the people, organization of its armed forces, armament and equipment and a discussion of the recent Third Anglo-Afghan War. It ends with a detailed look at the strategic points of Afghanistan and its lines of communication. The book presents a good look at the region almost a century ago, yet is strangely current in this war-ravaged land.