Page:Frontiers.djvu/43

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41
Frontiers

that have been spent by us in fortifying the independence of Afghanistan. The result in the case of the Indian Empire is probably without precedent, for it gives to Great Britain not a single or double but a threefold Frontier, (1) the administrative border of British India, (2) the Durand Line, or Frontier of active protection, (3) the Afghan border, which is the outer or advanced strategical Frontier.

It may be observed that the policy of Protectorates which I have described is by no means peculiar even in modern times to Great Britain, although Great Britain, owing to the huge and vulnerable bulk of her Empire, supplies the most impressive modern illustration. The policy has been equally adopted by Russia and by France. The Russian scheme of Protectorates includes Khiva and Bokhara: it aims at Mongolia: it broke down from the attempt to incorporate Manchuria and Korea. The French Protectorates in Africa embrace Tunis and would fain embrace Morocco; in Asia they veil with the thinnest of disguises the practical absorption of Cambodia and Annam. Protectorates are also a familiar expedient in the partition of Africa by European Powers, although the phrase more commonly applied in those regions is the less precise definition of a 'sphere of influence'. With what varied objects these different Protectorates have been established, sometimes political, sometimes commercial, sometimes strategic, sometimes a combination of all these, I have not time here to deal. But three curious and exceptional cases may be mentioned: that of the British Somaliland Protectorate, acquired in order to safeguard the food-supply of Aden (just as the Roman Protectorate was extended over Egypt, in order to ensure the corn-supply of Rome), and the British