Afghanistan: The Great Game
A Personal View by Rory Stewart
Afghanistan – one of the most isolated, barren landscapes on Earth. It's difficult to believe that any empire would want to invade it, and yet it's become the unlikely target, and obsession of some of the worlds greatest empires and superpowers.
- In 1839, up these city walls above Kabul, marched red-coated veterans of Waterloo.
- In 1879, Highlanders charged to the sound of the bagpipes.
- In 1979, Russian special forces swooped of these hills in their helicopters.
- And in 2001, an American-led coalition invaded Afghanistan.
Each of these invasions has ended in tragedy and humiliation, and each has sparked a fierce Afghan resistance.
Just some of the comments that will be encountered in this documentary:
- We have never, ever liked to be conquered.
- It's really easy to get into Afghanistan. It's just the getting out part that's very difficult
- Don't go into Afghanistan and get, whatever you do, involved in a tribal war.
Starting with the British invasions of the 19th century, how has this history forged the Afghanistan today? And what is it about this place and the paranoia and aggression of empires that has created repeated tragedy?
I want to explore what dragged these great nations into Afghanistan, and why they found it so difficult to leave.