The Grand Strategy of 'Empty Space': the Northwest Frontier and the 'Great Game', 1864-1907

Remnants of an army

War Studies Seminar Series - The Grand Strategy of ‘Empty Space’: the Northwest Frontier and the ‘Great Game’, 1864-1907

British anxiety regarding Russian threats to the British position in India became a running theme in British discussions about imperial defence, at home and in India, as early as the late 1820s. The term ‘Great Game,’ used to refer to volatile British-Russian jockeying for position in Central and South Asia, surfaced in 1840. And the first significant formal British evaluation of this strategic problem dated from 1855. But this strategic problem entered a new phase in the 1860s, driven by changes in both British and Russian policy and agendas.

In this podcast Brian P. Farrell, Professor of Military History and Head of the Department of History, National University of Singapore discusses how the problem of ‘empty space’ was understood, why it became central to this ‘Great Game,’ and how it eventually played out.

2 March 2017

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