Monday, August 8, 2011
The Treaty of Rawalpindi gave what country independence from Britain on Aug. 8, 1919?
On August 8, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi, Afghanistan formally gains complete independence from British rule. In the 19th century, Afghanistan is a key battleground in the power struggles between czarist Russia and imperial Britain. As the gateway between the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan’s strategic location along the ancient Silk Road makes it the center of “The Great Game.” The term “The Great Game,” refers to the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century competition between the British and Russian empires for colonial territory in central Eurasia. In all, three Anglo-Afghan wars are fought: 1839–1842, 1878–1880, and 1919. These conflicts prove to have a profound influence on future relations among the people of Afghanistan, the West, and Russia.
Over the weekend in Afghanistan, 38 people were killed when an American CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed, most likely after being shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade from insurgents. The deaths of 30 American troops on board made it the single deadliest loss of U.S. forces since the start of the Afghan War in 2001. Reports indicate that the Chinook was struck while on a mission to reinforce other NATO forces engaged in combat. Currently, there are approximately 150,000 ISAF forces in Afghanistan, including nearly 100,000 from the United States—the largest NATO presence in the region since the U.S.-led war began in 2001. But the planned pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan has already began and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2014.