Great Game, India, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Asian Affairs: Summer issue preview – Yemen, India and the Middle East, British in Iraq…

The summer issue of the Asian Affairs Journal is now available online – click here for the contents page. Some articles are free to view by all visitors (as indicated); others are only available for free to RSAA memers/JSTOR/Taylor & Francis/Academic subscribers.

Highlights include “Yemen and the Huthis: Genesis of the 2015 Crisis” – an excellent overview by Dr Noel Brehony, a former diplomat and academic authority on Yemen, as to how the civil war arose, the role of the Huthis, the implications for the wider area and Yemen’s prospects. This article is essential reading for anyone who wants to properly understand the current situation and get beyond the brief nature of the press and media coverage. It is free to view: click here to read. 

Shahshank Joshi of RUSI, a frequent contributor to the UK and US broadsheets, writes on “India and the Middle East”, analysing India’s response to the recent disorder in the Middle East with a specific focus on the security-related aspects of that engagement. He also gives specific attention to relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran, and looks at how India might orient itself in the region in the future.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was not the first time that the UK or western powers found themselves required to play the role of government in that region. Rosie Llewellyn-Jones in “The British Raj and the British Mandate in Iraq” examines the first period of UK imperial government in Iraq following the First World War. Specifically, she examines how the form and practice of UK administration in Iraq was generated by the British administration of India: did the fact that Iraq was being squeezed into an Indian template lead to a government there which was less successful than it could have been?

Sir Nicholas Barrington is a former Ambassador and RSAA member of 40 years standing. His diplomatic postings include Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan and finally Pakistan as British High Commissioner. In “Reflections of a Diplomat in Asia” Sir Nicholas looks back over his career with discussions on the countries in which he served, and concluding reflections (some critical of the UK Government) on the contemporary situation in Pakistan and the Middle East (with specific reference to ISIS/DAESH) in the light of his experience.

For followers of the Great Game, Francis Younghusband was not the only person at the beginning of the 20th century in the race for Tibet and Lhasa. He was almost beaten by an American explorer, Francis Nichols. In “A Forgotten American: Francis Nichols’ Quest for Lhasa” Dr Alex McKay tells the story of a US explorer who deserves to be better known.

John Harrison, a former UK diplomat who served in Burma (Myanmar) in the 1960s revisits the country with an RSAA tour and writes a reflection on how the country has changed in the past 50 years. This article is free to view: click here.

There are also a host of book reviews of the latest works on Asia by Asian Affairs’ galaxy of expert reviewers: see the contents page for more details.

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